IT is very disappointing that 129 people failed to attend their appointments on Monday in Darlington for the second doses of their anti-Covid vaccination.

Yes, it was a bank holiday, and, yes, it was very wet, but these are not excuses.

The no-shows effect the efficacy of their first jab and so do not help us move towards herd immunity.

They also put extra strain on local health officials, who spent the bank holiday ringing round to make extra appointments so the doses did not go to waste.

Thanks to their hard work, the injections did not go to waste. It would have been unforgivable if they had ended up in the bin when we see the suffering of people in somewhere like India, whose government has been unable to secure the quantities of the vaccine that our Government has bought.

People in India are crying out for anything that will help stop the sweep of the merciless pandemic, and yet here in the safety of Darlington people are not bothering to show for a second jab. As Amanda Riley, clinical director of Darlington Primary Care Network, said: “Please be considerate of how your actions impact our communities.”

It is strange that if you book an outdoor restaurant table and don’t attend – even if it is hailing – you are likely to be charged a no-show fee, and yet you can miss your vaccination, which the Government has paid for and the rest of the world is screaming out for, without any penalty.

If you are not going to attend, at least have the good grace to inform the NHS at the earliest possible moment because there are lots of other people who are keen to have your armful.