The NHS in Lincolnshire is working around the clock to prepare for the imminent roll out of the covid booster vaccinations for people aged 50 and over.
In line with the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation’s advice, the following people will be offered a booster dose of the covid vaccine:
- those living in residential care homes for older adults
- all adults aged 50 years or over
- frontline health and social care workers
- all those aged 16 to 49 years with underlying health conditions that put them at higher risk of severe COVID-19 (as set out in the green book), and adult carers
- adult household contacts of immunosuppressed individuals
“We are now waiting for final operational guidance and legal frameworks to come through, which should allow us to begin offering booster vaccinations from the middle of next week, as well as third doses to those people who are immunosuppressed,” comments Rebecca Neno, Director of Covid and Influenza Vaccination Programmes, NHS Lincolnshire CCG.
“The booster campaign will offer eligible people a Pfizer vaccination, irrespective of whether you have previously had Pfizer or AstraZeneca,” explains Rebecca. “The key thing to bear in mind is that the booster vaccination should be given at least six months after your second dose, with the optimum window being between six and nine months.
“With this in mind, please do not worry if you don’t get your booster vaccination as soon as your six months comes up and please do not contact the NHS or your GP practice – you will be contacted when it is your turn, just like with the initial round of vaccinations at the end of last year/beginning of this year.
People who are immunosuppressed will be offered a third dose of the vaccination as part of their primary vaccination schedule and this is separate to any potential booster programme which JCVI will provide guidance on in due course. In addition, the NHS is preparing to re-open its hospital hubs to offer the booster vaccination to healthcare staff, as well as preparing with its partners for the roll out of covid vaccinations to healthy 12-15 year-old children.
“The booster vaccinations will ultimately be available by appointment only at various vaccination sites across the county, and we will introduce them across these sites on an incremental basis, just like we did with the first covid vaccinations, and in line with vaccine supply. Booster vaccination will not be available on a walk-in basis and patients must have a confirmed appointment before attending our vaccination centres. This is so we can manage the logistics, vaccine supply and capacity at each centre.
“However, we will continue to offer first and second doses on a walk-in basis or by appointment, so if you haven’t had one or both of your vaccinations already, please come and see us. See walk-in opportunities. Don’t forget, once it is your turn for a booster you will be called, please don’t call the NHS or your GP practice,” adds Rebecca.