Health leaders say it is doubly important to get Covid-19 spring booster now
People in Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire who are eligible for the Covid-19 spring booster vaccine, but have yet to come forward, are being told of two reasons why now is the time do so.
Having the top-up dose before the end of June will not only provide protection during the summer months, but will also ensure the individual will be able to receive the autumn booster jab as soon as the vaccines become available.
Currently, people aged 75 and over, as well as care home residents and those aged 12 and above with a weakened immune system, are eligible for the spring booster vaccine.
Getting the top-up dose, which for most people will be their fourth Covid-19 vaccine, is the best way to prolong the immune-boosting effects of previous vaccinations, which should keep serious cases of coronavirus at bay.
Gill May, Director of Nursing and Quality, said: “Throughout the vaccination programme, we have always kept one eye on the future, and we know that people who get boosted in the next week or so, will be ready for their autumn booster when the vaccine programme picks up speed again in late September and early October.
“Of course, focusing on the here and now, having the spring booster will also provide protection over the next few months, when we expect infections to continue increasing as a result of us all spending more time with friends, family and neighbours.
“The spring booster jab is a proven way of keeping our most vulnerable friends and loved ones safe throughout the first summer that will be completely free of any nationally-imposed Covid-19 restrictions.”
In the seven days up to and including Saturday 18 June, a total of 1,491 local people in Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire received positive Covid-19 test results.
While the number is much lower than at previous points during the pandemic, a small proportion have still needed medical intervention, with the region’s three large hospitals – the Royal United Hospital in Bath, the Great Western Hospital in Swindon and Salisbury District Hospital – caring for a combined total of 91 Covid-19 patients.
However, local vaccination rates remain strong, with approximately 85,000 people having already had a booster vaccine, which is equivalent to around 82 per cent of all who are eligible.
Spring booster jabs can be booked online at www.nhs.uk.
The site also contains up-to-date information on the local venues that are providing the vaccine but do not require patients to have a pre-booked appointment.
For more information about the local rollout of the Covid-19 vaccine, including an extensive list of frequently asked questions, visit www.bsw.icb.nhs.uk