Patients waiting for their coronavirus vaccine have been asked not to call their GP about the jab after it emerged one surgery received 126,000 attempted such calls in a single day.
Managers have asked the public not to block phone lines by calling about vaccine supply or appointments, which family doctors do not control.
Extreme call volumes are preventing patients with urgent needs from contacting their GP, the managers said.
NHS bosses said one person alone was thought to have tried to get through to their local surgery on Teesside 300 times by using the re-dial function on their phone.
Dr Janet Walker, medical director at NHS Tees Valley clinical commissioning group (CCG) said: “The number of calls practices are getting from people inquiring about the vaccine is absolutely overwhelming, with one practice receiving over 126,000 calls in one day.
“We are asking people again: please, please do not phone your practice about vaccinations – responding to these calls is blocking phone lines and stopping the most vulnerable in our communities, who need urgent medical help, from getting through.”
Dr Walker said GPs do not control vaccine supply or arrange appointments via the national booking system.
Patients should wait to be contacted with an invitation to be vaccinated, GPs said at the time.
GPs are also asking patients to contact them via other means, including their websites.
Additional reporting by Press Association