The COVID-19 booster vaccination programme is now well underway across Suffolk and north east Essex, with the aim of topping up people’s protection against the virus ahead of winter.
Invitations are being sent out by text and letter to those who are eligible, and people are urged to take up the offer, as well as being reminded to wait until they are contacted – there is currently no need to contact your GP practice to ask about receiving the booster jab.
The rollout of the booster programme marks another milestone for the Suffolk and North East Essex Integrated Care System, which has consistently been ranked as one of very the best in the country for the delivery of COVID-19 vaccinations to its local population.
Latest figures show that 86.5% of the adult population have received two doses, and 91.3% have received one dose. Almost 1.5 million vaccines have been administered locally.
The booster jabs are available to people who have had their 2nd dose of vaccine at least six months ago and are:
• Aged 50 years and over
• Living in a residential care home for older adults
• A frontline health and social care worker
• Aged 16 to 49 years and living with an underlying health condition that puts them at higher risk of severe COVID-19
• Are an adult household contact of immunosuppressed individuals
Once people receive their invite they will be able to book an appointment online at www.nhs.uk/covid-vaccination and for those without internet access they can book by calling 119.
Booked appointments for the booster vaccination will be on offer at locations across the patch including at GP surgeries, pharmacies and vaccination centres.
Dr Ed Garratt, chief executive, Suffolk and North East Essex Integrated Care System, said: “The reach of the vaccination programme has so far been incredible with almost 1.5 million vaccines administered locally. Yet we know there is still some way to go. This is why the booster vaccinations are so important. I encourage everyone invited to take up the offer and give themselves that vital extra layer of protection against the virus before winter sets in.
“Like the earlier rollout we’ll be taking a phased approach, so people will be contacted over the coming weeks. Don’t worry if you’re not contacted immediately, as we can’t vaccinate everyone in the first few days, it will take time and all those eligible will have the opportunity to make a timely booking.
“I’d like to thank everyone, including NHS staff, volunteers and community groups who have made our local vaccination programme such a success and offer them my heartfelt thanks for their continued efforts and hard work. We couldn’t have achieved what we have without you.”
You access further information about vaccination including FAQs and videos at www.sneevaccine.org.uk