THE NHS has assured Islanders appointments are available at the Riverside Vaccination Centre in Newport, despite residents experiencing difficulties in booking them.

Islanders are being urged to check the national booking system regularly as appointment slots will continue to become available.

"Residents should be assured that a number of appointments are currently available," said a spokesperson for NHS Solent.

"If residents attempt to book online, but appointment slots are full, they should continue to check the national booking system regularly.

"People do not have to travel to the mainland for a vaccination appointment. The Riverside Centre in Newport is open seven days a week, from 8am to 8pm."

Open since Monday, February 1, the large scale NHS Covid-19 vaccination centre in Newport means even more people are able to get vaccinated as part of the biggest vaccination programme the NHS has ever seen.

After a successful first week, appointment slots continue to become available for residents, who in line with recommendations from the independent JCVI, have been contacted by the NHS to book their vaccination online or by calling 119.

The team looks forward to welcoming more residents into the centre to receive their vaccinations.