Covid autumn booster in Lancashire: last chance for most vulnerable to book top-up jab
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NHS bosses are seeking to maximise take-up amongst those vulnerable groups entitled to the vaccine ahead of increased social mixing over the Christmas and new year period.
The last date to book the latest Covid vaccine via the national booking service is expected to be 14th December.
Fewer people are eligible for an autumn booster this year than last, when anybody over 50 was able to have one. This time around, the government has restricted it to the over-65s, those in younger age groups that are considered vulnerable or who are working with people who are, and pregnant women.
As of 15th November, 66.1 percent of people aged 65 or over in the Lancashire County Council area had taken up the offer of an extra shot. In the Blackpool Council patch, that figure was 57.9 percent, and for Blackburn with Darwen 52.4 percent.
Dr Linda Charles-Ozuzu, Regional Director of Commissioning and Senior Responsible Officer for the vaccination programme at NHS England (North West), said: “It’s great news that more than 1.2 million people who are eligible for the autumn Covid-19 booster have already come forward for the extra protection ahead of winter - and I would urge anyone who is eligible and has yet to get the top up of protection, to book one of the thousands of appointments we have available and get protected in time for Christmas.
“The vaccines continue to provide the best protection against serious illness and hospitalisation from Covid-19 and flu, so please make sure you get vaccinated when offered and encourage loved ones who are eligible to do the same.
“Booking an appointment is easier than ever - as well as the national booking service, you can book on the NHS App or call 119.”
Over the next four weeks, more than 400,000 bookable appointments will be available for those eligible in the North West to come forward for the Covid booster, as well as their flu vaccine, at more than 500 sites across the region. A number of sites, including community pharmacies, may also offer walk-in appointments.
Although the last national booking service-arranged appointments will be on 15th December, some Covid vaccinations may continue to be offered through walk-in and outreach clinics after that date - and may also be offered to people who become newly immunosuppressed after the programme ends.
Eligible people coming forward for their autumn booster should make sure their appointment takes place at least three months since their last dose.
All eligible adults can book their flu and COVID-19 vaccinations by visiting www.nhs.uk/seasonalvaccinations, on the NHS App or by calling 119. Some pharmacies and other vaccine services offer walk-in clinics and people can search for their nearest location on the NHS website.
Reduction in community and even hospital testing for Covid means that official case numbers are much less representative than they once were. However, the highly-regarded Office for National Statistics Covid infection survey, which was scrapped earlier this year, is relaunching this month for the winter period and will once again provide an accurate picture of case numbers across the country.
The Zoe Covid Study, which had been estimating a tally each day based on reports from users of its app, paused data publication as a result of a declining number of participants and concerns that a greater propensity for people to report positive tests than negative ones could be causing an over-estimate of infections.
Who can get a Covid autumn booster in Lancashire this year?
***all adults aged 65 years and over
***residents in care homes for older adults
***frontline health and social care workers
***those aged between six months and 64 years who are in a clinical risk group, as defined in the government’s Immunisation Green Book - including diabetics and those suffering from chronic respiratory, heart and liver diseases.
***carers aged 16 to 64 years and staff working in care homes for older adults
***those aged 12 to 64 years who are household contacts of people with immunosuppression