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Eligible people in the Midlands, which include the over 75s and those with weakened immune systems, are now being invited to come forward for their life-saving Spring COVID booster jabs.
In line with new advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation, the NHS COVID-19 vaccination programme will contact people when it is their turn to be vaccinated.
Once invited by the NHS, people will be able to book their appointment through the national booking service or by calling 119.
Recent research from the UK Health Security Agency has shown that the NHS booster programme has helped prevent around 157,000 hospitalisations nationally since mid-December.
In the Midlands a total of 5,958,132 people have already had three doses of the COVID vaccine including over 99% of over 75–79 year olds on average in the East Midlands and 95% on average of 75-79 year olds in the West Midlands.
Dr Nigel Sturrock, Regional Medical Director at NHS England and NHS Improvement in the Midlands, said:
“Sadly, we are still seeing large numbers of people seriously unwell in hospital with COVID. So, Spring boosters are vital in helping to top up the immunity of the elderly and the most vulnerable to ensure they are protected from the dangers of COVID-19.
“We have protected millions of people in the region at speed thanks to the efforts of our staff, GPs, pharmacies and volunteers. They will once again rise to the next challenge.
“There is no need to contact the NHS – when you are eligible for your ‘spring boost’ of protection, we will be in touch so you can book your appointment at one of the many vaccination sites across the region”.
Eligible groups for Spring boosters include care home residents, people who are 75 and over and those who are immunosuppressed aged 12 and over.
Local NHS teams will be contacting care homes as they have done previously to arrange for Spring boosters for people who are eligible and have been invited.
The NHS has made it easier than ever for immunosuppressed people to get their boosters – they can now show they are eligible by providing either a letter from a GP team or specialist inviting them for a vaccine, a hospital or GP letter about their medication or treatment, or a prescription or medication box with their name and date on it.
It is still important for severely immunosuppressed people who have been advised to have a 3rd primary dose, for example those undergoing cancer treatment, to get this before getting a booster, for maximum protection from COVID-19.
Across the Midlands there is an ‘evergreen’ offer for COVID-19 vaccinations meaning anyone who has not yet been vaccinated is able to come forward at any time to start their vaccinations. Those who are eligible can now use the NHS online walk-in finder to find the most convenient site to get their first, second dose or booster without an appointment. People who are eligible can also book an appointment at www.nhs.uk/coronavirus-vaccination/ or by calling 119.