COVID-19 boosters for the most vulnerable this spring

Health / Thu 23rd Mar 2023 at 11:10am

PEOPLE aged over 75, residents in care homes for older adults, and those with weakened immune systems will be offered a COVID-19 booster jab over the coming weeks.

Spring boosters will be given to those most vulnerable first with GP practices vaccinating their housebound patients and older adults in residential care.  Vaccinations will then be available for eligible residents at more than 60 local pharmacies, most GP practices and some ‘pop up’ vaccination clinics across Hertfordshire and west Essex. 

COVID-19 spring boosters will be offered to: 

  • residents in a care home for older adults (from 3 April)
  • adults aged 75 years and over (from 17 April)
  • individuals aged 5 years and over who are immunosuppressed (from 17 April)

The NHS will invite eligible people for a COVID booster jab when it is their turn.  Please don’t ring your practice to book an appointment until you are contacted. 

Dr Jane Halpin, Chief Executive of Hertfordshire and West Essex ICB said “COVID-19 is still with us and can develop into something more serious in older people and in people with certain underlying health conditions. Having a vaccination remains the best way to prevent serious illness.

“This spring, the booster vaccination programme will protect those who are at highest risk of becoming very unwell and need to keep their immunity topped up. Residents of older people’s care homes will be vaccinated first, starting on 3 April. Following this, once vaccine supplies have been replenished, the over 75s and anyone aged 5 years and over with a weakened immune system will be contacted and offered a booster vaccination.

Eligible people will also be able to use the national booking service online or by phone to arrange a jab at a local pharmacy, at least 6 months after their last dose. In Hertfordshire and west Essex we are also making arrangements to offer booster vaccinations to residents of learning disability care homes.

Jane added: “The vaccine has been proven to be safe and effective and having the booster will provide those who are most vulnerable protection from the virus throughout the summer. These  updated vaccines boost protection well and give slightly higher levels of antibody against the more recent strains of COVID-19 than the vaccines you would have received previously. 

“We know that many people are very keen to top up their immunity and would ask for your patience for a few more weeks. The NHS will remind people when it’s time to come forward for their jab.” 

If you have never had a COVID vaccination before and would like to protect yourself, now is the time to act to ensure you have time for both primary doses. First and second doses of the vaccine will not be offered after 30 June 2023, so please make an appointment online, speak to a pharmacist or ring 119 for more information. 

More information about the COVID spring booster programme can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-vaccination-spring-booster-resources/a-guide-to-the-covid-19-spring-booster-2023

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