HEALTH bosses are encouraging people to get their booster vaccine as soon as they become eligible as the Covid-19 vaccination roll out continues.
GPs in Tees Valley are urging anyone at greater risk from the virus to make sure they are fully protected ahead of winter.
From Wednesday 15th December the booster jab will offered to everyone over the age of 18 when they become eligible, three months (91 days) after their second dose, alongside health and social care workers, those with underlying health conditions and all adult household contacts of people at risk from becoming severely ill from Covid-19,
Dr Janet Walker, medical director, NHS Tees Valley Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said: “We want to provide vaccine boosters to all adults, but especially people that are most likely to become seriously ill from COVID-19 and those who care for them, with the best possible protection this winter.
“We have some very challenging months ahead of us and we need to protect ourselves and the most vulnerable in our communities.
“Remember, it’s never too late to have a first or second Covid vaccination and having a booster and a flu jab too will help reduce the chances of you, or your loved ones, becoming seriously ill and ending up in hospital.”
The booster vaccine is available through a range of services.
Primary care teams are vaccinating care home staff and residents, the housebound and those most vulnerable to serious disease related to covid within GP led service settings.
GP practices are strongly urging people NOT to contact them directly to request a vaccination appointment but to wait to be invited.
“Our GP practices are open, and it is really important that people continue to put their health first and seek urgent medical help when they need it, but we are asking them not to call their GP practice for a vaccination”, added Dr Walker.
“Staff working in general practice are really busy and are doing their absoloute best to help in what are still very challenging times but they are unable to book vaccination appointments for people or currently respond to queries for NHS Covid pass letters.”
Patients requiring support related to NHS Covid Pass letters should visit https://www.nhs.uk/contact-us/covid-status-letter-service-help/
Appointments can be booked through the national COVID-19 vaccination booking service: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-vaccination/book-coronavirus-vaccination/ or by calling NHS 119, to get an appointment in a designated local community pharmacy or vaccination centre.
A number of pop-up vaccination clinics will also be providing additional walk-in appointments across the Tees Valley with no appointment required:
People should get their booster no earlier than three months, or 91 days, following their second jab and the NHS advises that you must wait at least four weeks (28 days) after having a positive Covid-19 test before booking a booster.
Booster vaccination appointments can be made 2 months (61 days) after a 2nd dose, the appointment dates offered will be from 3 months (91 days) after your 2nd dose.
“The vaccination programme to date has been a real collaboration between our health and care systems across the whole of Tees Valley”, added Dr Walker.
“We are confident that together we will be able to cope with the new pressures now being faced by the booster rollout.”