Having Covid-19 booster vaccine in autumn will help people stay safe through cold winter months

Covid Vaccination

More people living across Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire will be able to receive a Covid-19 booster vaccine this autumn.

All adults over the age of 50, frontline heath and care workers and people under 50 who are deemed to be more at risk of falling seriously ill with coronavirus will be invited to receive the top-up dose.

The NHS will contact those who are eligible when it is their turn to have the vaccine, with the autumn booster offer also being extended to carers over the age of 16 and those who share a home with someone who has a weakened immune system.

Recently, people over the age of 75 were invited to take part in the spring booster vaccine programme.

Many who came forward earlier in the year may now be thinking about their next top-up dose, but health leaders are advising those who had their immunity boosted in the spring to now wait until autumn before having their next vaccine.

This advice also goes out to any person who celebrated their 75th birthday after Friday 1 July, as having the booster now will mean waiting longer n the autumn, when rates of Covid-19 could be higher.

Gill May, Chief Nurse, Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire Integrated Care Board, said: “We know we are likely to see an increase in people catching Covid-19 later in the year.

“This is why the next round of booster vaccines in the autumn will be so important, especially for people who are older and those whose pre-existing conditions make them particularly vulnerable to coronavirus.

“Some people, such as those who have recently turned 75, may be keen to have their booster now, but we would urge them to wait just a few more weeks and have their top-up dose in the autumn.

“By doing this, people will be able to have their booster as soon as the vaccinations begin and will also build up a level of immunity that should last for the entire winter period.”

Some people, such as those with a weakened immune system, who have not yet had a booster, should still come forward now.

That also goes for any person who has still not come forward for any Covid-19 vaccination.

Most healthy adults, who are between the ages of 18 and 49, need two primary doses of the vaccine, followed by a booster vaccine, to reach full protection against coronavirus.

Vaccinations continue to be available from a range of locations across the region, including Bath Racecourse, the Steam Museum in Swindon and Salisbury City Hall.

Many smaller community venues are also providing a vaccination service, including pharmacies and GP practices.

People can find their nearest vaccination centre, as well as book their vaccine appointment, by visiting www.nhs.uk.

More information about the local rollout of the Covid-19 vaccine can be found online at www.bsw.icb.nhs.uk.