The roll-out of the biggest and most successful vaccination programme in history continues with people aged 75 and over, and those who are immunosuppressed being advised to book their COVID-19 spring booster, while children aged 5-11 are being encouraged to have their first dose.
As a diverse and multinational city, the NHS in London is encouraging all communities to come forward and book via the National Booking Service, whether it is for the first, second or booster dose of the life-saving jab. Londoners can also find their nearest walk in clinics, at convenient locations nearby to places of worship, community centres and the local pharmacies by entering their postcode in ‘Grab a Jab.’
The NHS continues to find new ways to share information and opportunities for Londoners to have their questions answered by experts, as well as many new vaccination pop-ups in local communities.
The NHS in London teamed up with Age UK to host an event (11 May), where audience questions on the spring booster were answered by an expert panel including Dr Oge Ilozue, GP and Senior Clinical Adviser to the London Covid-19 Vaccination Programme. Visit the Age UK website for further details.
On Saturday 7 May at London’s Eid in the Square event, there were opportunities to talk to the London Muslim Health Network about different health matters, including the opportunity to have your vaccination at the on-site vaccine bus.
Dr Salman Waqar, GP and Vice President of the British Islamic Medical Association said, “COVID-19 can be more serious for people with a weakened immune system which is why getting the spring booster is so important.
“I’d urge anyone who has questions to speak to the clinicians looking after them. We’re here to help.”
Dr Oge Ilozue, GP and Senior Clinical Adviser to the London Covid-19 Vaccination Programme said, “Tackling health inequalities across the capital is a priority for us, now more than ever, as we deal with the outcomes of the pandemic.
“We must not forget the virus is still around and there are still people in hospital unwell with this virus. The risk is higher for certain groups across London, including Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities.
“Getting jabbed remains the best way to protect yourself and others so we encourage everyone eligible, particularly individuals at high risk – those over 75 years old and those who are immunosuppressed – to get booked in.”
Luke Mansell, who lives in south west London, said, “Taking every opportunity to get my family vaccinated has made such a difference to our lives. My wife and daughter both have weakened immune systems, so we booked their spring boosters as soon as we were contacted by the NHS.
“For us it was a no brainer to keep our family as safe as we possibly can, and having the spring boosters for extra protection against Covid has allowed us to get back to a more normal way of life”
Minesh Patel, Head of Policy from Macmillan Cancer Support said, “Getting a COVID-19 booster can be life-changing for immunocompromised people living with cancer, providing individuals with increased protection from the virus and reducing their risk of being admitted to hospital.
“We’d encourage all those eligible to book their spring booster as soon as possible. Your GP or organisations like Macmillan can help if you have any questions or concerns.”
Recent research from the UK Health Security Agency showed that the NHS booster programme has helped prevent around 186,000 hospitalisations across the country since mid-December.