A call from health officials in Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire for the 54 percent of local people aged 75 and over yet to come forward for their second Covid-19 booster to do so without delay.
Latest figures show that almost half (46 percent) of all those in the age group have so far had the recommended top-up dose, which is being offered to prolong the immune-boosting effects of previous coronavirus vaccines.
Initial booster vaccinations took place in the autumn, meaning the majority of over- 75s are now due their second vaccine, with experts stating that the optimum time to have the next dose is six months after the first.
Unlike previous rounds of vaccinations, people no longer need to wait to be contacted to come forward, with those due a booster now encouraged to proactively book their appointment, either online or over the phone.
Gill May, Director of Nursing and Quality, said: “Although Covid-19 cases are falling, the virus is still very much out there, and it’s especially important that those in our communities who are more susceptible to falling seriously ill, such as the over-75s, get protected.
“There has been a fantastic appetite for the spring boosters, and I’m pleased that nearly half of all older people have had this latest jab, but we need to ensure this momentum is maintained and those who are due continue to come forward.
“I know from speaking to local people that many believe they still need a letter or phone call from their GP before arranging their vaccination, but that’s no longer the case.
“Anyone over 75 who had their first booster at least six months ago should now book their next appointment without delay, and I’d also ask that younger family members, who may have easier access to the internet, support older relatives in doing this.”
All coronavirus vaccines, including first and second doses, as well as the necessary booster jabs, continue to be available from a range of locations in and around Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire.
Appointment availability is currently very good at the region’s larger vaccine sites, such as Bath Racecourse, Salisbury City Hall and the Steam Museum in Swindon, with each of the sites able to accommodate walk-in vaccinations.
Other sites, including community venues, pharmacies and GP practices, also
continue to provide the vaccine, with those opting to visit a smaller clinic advised to book appointments in advance.
Any person who is due a Covid-19 vaccination can arrange their jab through the National Booking Service, which is available online at http://www.nhs.uk or over the phone by calling 119.
Further information about the local rollout of the vaccine, including a list of frequently asked questions, can be found at http://www.bswccg.nhs.uk.