Newly-eligible urged not to head to walk-in centres for Covid boosters yet

Nurse Maria Alexiou preparing COVID vaccinations at the new mass vaccination centre at Connaught Hal

Health bosses have urged patience over booster jabs in Norfolk and Waveney. - Credit: Danielle Booden

Health bosses in Norfolk and Waveney have urged newly-eligible people seeking Covid-19 booster jabs to be patient and not to visit walk-in centres or contact their GPs yet.

On Monday, the government confirmed eligibility for the boosters would be extended to all over 18s - and the gap between the wait cut from six to three months since the second vaccination.

That prompted some people to try to book appointments or to turn up at the county's walk-in centres for jabs - but they are not yet set up to provide jabs beyond those who were already eligible.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson during a media briefing in Downing Street, London, on coronavirus (Covid-19).

Prime minister Boris Johnson. - Credit: Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA Wire

On Tuesday, prime minister Boris Johnson announced that people needed to wait to be called by the NHS, with people to be called in five-year age brackets.

He announced plans to ramp up vaccinations, with a target that all adults would be offered them by the end of January - but the logistics of how that will happen are yet to be put in place.

And, in the meantime, Norfolk and Waveney Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has urged people not to turn up at walk-in centres, after a number of people who believed they could get them were turned away on Tuesday.

A statement from the CCG said: "Following the prime minister's national announcement, local GP practices and NHS vaccination clinics are awaiting further clinical and operational guidance from NHS England before the changes to eligibility for booster vaccinations can be implemented.

"Until the new clinical guidance is in place we can only currently provide booster vaccinations to those who had their second dose six months ago and are:

  • Aged 40 years or over
  • Frontline health and social care workers (including those who work in residential and nursing homes for older adults)
  • Aged 16-39 years with underlying health conditions that put them at higher risk of severe Covid-19 and adult carers or adult household contacts of immunosuppressed individuals."

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The CCG statement added: "We will let you know as soon as we can provide boosters sooner or to younger age groups.

"Please do not contact your GP practice or visit a walk in vaccination clinic if you are under 40 years old or have had your second dose within six months as we will not be able to provide you with a booster yet.

"Please be patient and look out for local NHS updates on when these changes to eligibility will come into effect."