IT is very disappointing that 129 people failed to attend their appointments yesterday 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, potentially, mean the waste of the injection – and that is unforgivable 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.

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.