More than 144,000 people have now received their COVID-19 Booster jab across mid and south Essex since the national call to #getboosted was made ten days ago.
And NHS is urging as many people as possible not to delay getting double-vaccinated and to get a COVID-19 booster, with lots of opportunities open across the area to get vaccinated.
The call is also for those who have not yet had a first jab to do so as soon as possible to avoid serious illness and hospitalisations as the weather turns colder and we head further into winter.
Scientists are worried about the arrival of Omicron variant because of the speed with which it spreads and because two vaccine doses do not give us the protection, we all need.
As the Omicron variant continues to spread rapidly, we need everyone to play their part in protecting themselves and others by getting the jab.
The COVID-19 booster programme is the rollout of an additional vaccine dose to people who have previously received two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine to ensure continued protection for those most at risk from COVID-19. We want to make sure that the most vulnerable people maintain high levels of protection against COVID as we go into winter.
COVID-19 booster jabs are being offered to eligible patients across the UK in line with national and JCVI guidance.
You can get a booster dose if you had a 2nd dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at least 91 days ago and:
• you are aged 18 or over
• you are aged 16 or over with a health condition that puts you at high risk of getting seriously ill from COVID-19
• you are a frontline health or social care worker
• you live or work in a care home
• you are aged 16 or over and are a main carer for someone at high risk from COVID-19
• you are aged 16 or over and live with someone who has a weakened immune system (such as someone who has HIV, has had a transplant or is having certain treatments for cancer, lupus or rheumatoid arthritis)
If you've tested positive for Covid-19, you need to wait four weeks (28 days) from the day of your positive test to have a booster.
If your child has tested positive for COVID-19 and is not at high risk from COVID-19, they need to wait 12 weeks before they can have a COVID-19 vaccine.
People who are pregnant and in eligible groups can also get a booster dose.
Eligible patients can:
• Make an appointment for a booster via the NHS national booking service online at nhs.uk/covid-vaccination or call 119 (free), between 7am and 11pm seven days a week
• Attend an available walk-in site or local pharmacy. A list of sites can be found at essexcovidvaccine.nhs.uk. These sites are updated regularly so please keep checking back for more locations.
COVID-19 boosters are required because there are some signs that protection offered by the vaccine may start dropping off several months after the second dose - with the most vulnerable groups most at risk of this reduction in protection.
More information about eligibility and other places to get your jab in Essex can be found at COVID-19 Vaccine Information for Essex (essexcovidvaccine.nhs.uk)