Get the booster says health chief after jab confusion

A third dose of the coronavirus vaccine is set to be offered those with severely weakened immune sys

Get the booster jab -CCG says - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Norfolk and Waveney residents are being urged to get their booster jabs after confusion over availability.

Data shows that just 40pc - 65,000 people - of Norfolk and Waveney's eligible population have come forward for a booster jab against Covid-19.

Healthwatch Norfolk, a health and social care champion, raised concerns that patients were approaching them saying it was difficult to access booster centres.

Norfolk and Waveney Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) said all eligible patients will be invited to make an appointment, which can be done through a GP or national booking service.

Cath Byford Chief Nurse at NHS Norfolk and Waveney Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) encouraged everyone eligible to book their boosters.

“The NHS is always under additional pressure during the autumn and winter as respiratory infections take hold," she said. 

"Reducing covid-related hospital admissions will help the NHS cope better during the winter months and reduce disruption to routine and planned care.”

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Booster jabs and third primary doses are being offered to vulnerable adults to make sure they have a high level of protection, as research suggests protection decreases gradually over time.

The two types of jabs are identical, with boosters given after six months while third primaries are given sooner to those severely immunosuppressed.

A booster jab is available in the same order as the initial vaccine rollout, and is for:

  • care home residents
  • adults aged over 50
  • frontline health and social care workers
  • those aged 16-49 with underlying health conditions
  • adults who live with immunosuppressed individuals

While those needing a third primary dose can go to walk-in centres.

Alex Stewart, of Healthwatch Norfolk.

Alex Stewart, of Healthwatch Norfolk. - Credit: Archant

Alex Stewart, chief executive of Healthwatch Norfolk, has called for the CCG to release their jab data to help encourage more people to come forward. 

"We know there are challenges around take-up of the jab, and it would be useful for this data to be made public to help both health professionals and the people of Norfolk understand where the gaps are in terms of distributing it, and how these can be addressed." 

So far, 94pc of people aged over 18 in Norfolk and Waveney have had their first dose of vaccine and 90pc have had two doses. This compares with national figures of 90pc and 85pc respectively.

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