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A senior GP in the Midlands is urging anyone who is eligible for their COVID-19 spring booster to make the booking before the protection offered by their last vaccination deteriorates.
Dr Vijay Rawal, NHS medical director for Primary Care in the Midlands has made the call after a study led by Imperial College London shows antibody levels after receiving the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine deteriorate over months, especially for people aged 75 and over.
The number of antibodies produced peaks four to five weeks after a vaccination and gradually declines until an additional dose is given. Data shows that for people aged 75 and over protection levels can decrease up to 17% more than in younger generations.
In the Midlands, 6,105,338 people have already had three doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, but anyone who is 75 and over can receive their additional spring booster around six months on from their previous vaccination.
The number of COVID-19 cases in the Midlands remains high with more than 2,400 patients with COVID-19 in hospital across the region.
Dr Vijay Rawal, said: “The people who qualify for the spring boosters are those who are most at risk of developing severe COVID-19. They are also the people who will have had their most recent vaccines the furthest time ago, meaning the immunity they gained from it may not provide enough protection for any future peaks or variants.
“We know that protection against COVID-19 from the vaccination wanes after a period of time and this is why the spring boosters are vital for those most at risk and why we are urging them to come forwards as soon as possible.
“With COVID-19 cases in the community remaining high it is vital for those eligible to get a spring booster and lower the risk of serious illness or hospitalisation.”
Eligible groups for Spring boosters include care home residents, people who are 75 and over and those who are immunosuppressed aged 12 and over.
Margaret Keenan, the first person in the world to receive an approved COVID-19 vaccine, received her spring booster in Coventry last week.
The 92-year-old grandmother of four is one of 2.5 million people in England to get their spring booster since the latest phase of the NHS vaccination programme began.
Getting her spring booster, Maggie said: “I am really pleased to get my Spring Booster and feel I will be better protected against COVID-19 as a result. Now we are all out and about, it is even more important for older people to keep up with all their vaccine doses and I would encourage anyone aged 75 and over to book their vaccine now”.
Spring booster jab appointments can be booked quickly and conveniently on the NHS website and people that can’t go online can book by phoning 119.
Hundreds of sites in the Midlands including community pharmacies, vaccination centres and hospital hubs are offering spring boosters to those most vulnerable to coronavirus. Local NHS teams are also offering vaccinations in care homes with hundreds of visits taking place.