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NHS begins Spring booster vaccinations this week

The NHS in Calderdale is starting to offer Spring booster vaccines this week as the Covid-19 vaccination programme moves to the next phase.

The extra booster is being offered to people aged 75 and over, care home residents and people with weakened immune systems (12 and over), in line with the latest advice from the Joint Committee on Immunisations & Vaccinations (JCVI).

Eligible people will be contacted by the NHS when it is their turn to be vaccinated, around six months on from their initial booster. Once invited, people will be able to book their appointment through the National Booking System, online or by calling 119, or at a GP vaccination service if they have been contacted by their practice.

GP teams will also be carrying out booster clinics in local care homes over the coming weeks, as well as providing vaccinations for any eligible housebound patients.

Over 300,000 people in West Yorkshire will be eligible for the Spring booster, and will be contacted between now and early Summer, depending on when they had their previous booster. This follows the recommendation from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) that an extra dose should be offered to these groups to make sure those at greatest risk, and whose protection levels may have declined, continue to have high levels of protection against COVID-19.

Research by UKHSA estimates since mid-December some 157,000 hospitalisations have been prevented by booster doses. 

Neil Smurthwaite, Senior Responsible Officer for the NHS Vaccination Programme in Calderdale, said:

“The NHS COVID-19 vaccination programme has not stopped in its efforts to protect people from coronavirus. The vaccines have meant that restrictions on our everyday life can be lifted but COVID-19 is still active and there are still people in hospital unwell with the virus. Getting your spring booster will make sure you are as protected as possible against the virus and keep yourself and others safe.

“People are being prioritised according to when they had their previous booster and by clinical need so please wait to hear. You do not need to contact your GP practice or other NHS services. The NHS will be contacting people between now and early summer, depending on when they had their last booster, so there is no need to worry if you don’t hear anything straight away.”

The NHS is still offering first and second doses too, as well as first boosters for anyone who has not yet had theirs. You can find your nearest walk-in clinic at www.calderdaleccg.nhs.uk/grabajab  or book an appointment at www.nhs.uk/covidvaccine or by calling 119 free of charge.