The launch of the COVID-19 autumn booster has got off to a good start in Lincolnshire, with 27,498 booster vaccinations given (as of 21 September), however, the NHS is keen to encourage everyone eligible to keep coming forwards as soon as possible.
Available to everyone 50 and over (currently vaccinating people aged 65 and over) – as well as pregnant women, carers, household contacts of immunosuppressed people, those with clinical vulnerabilities, and health and social care staff – the autumn booster is still the best way to maximise your protection against COVID-19 and will be available until early December, when its rollout is due to have been completed.
Julie Humphreys, Head of Clinical Services, NHS Lincolnshire ICB comments:
“We’ve been pleased with the numbers of people coming forwards in the first week since we started giving the autumn booster to people on 5th September, and we have good availability going forwards, in terms of appointments.
“Whilst it’s relatively early days yet for the autumn booster and not everyone who’s eligible has got around to booking an appointment yet, by early December the autumn booster programme will have come to an end, so I’d urge anyone eligible to get booked in as soon as possible.
“We’ve been up and running at our new site at the Weighing Rooms on Carholme Road (Lincoln LN1 1SE) for a couple of weeks now and have had some excellent feedback from people coming in for their autumn boosters, noting amongst other things the fact that we have car parking on-site including designated disabled spaces right outside.”
Appointments can be booked online via the National Booking System or by calling 119. In addition, there is a list available online of the scheduled vaccination clinics available at the county’s two Mass Vaccination Centres at the Weighing Rooms, Lincoln, and at PRSA, Boston.
Ultimately anyone aged 50 and over will be able to book in for an autumn booster, as will those other eligible people in the other cohorts listed above, including pregnant women, because they are at increased risk of serious illness from COVID-19. Julie explains:
“We have plenty of appointments available and, having started vaccinating people aged 75 and over last week, we’ve already moved onto vaccinating those aged 65 and over. Whilst it’s not been confirmed yet, I expect we will continue to work quickly down through the age groups over the next couple of months.”
“The virus is circulating and we’re keen to reach out to all eligible people including pregnant women and those who might be trying for a baby, especially since COVID-19 can cause complications for mothers and their babies.”
Vaccination is safe at any time before, during or after pregnancy and while breastfeeding, and is recommended by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and the Royal College of Midwives. Julie adds:
“I understand that for some people it’s not a straightforward decision to get vaccinated and I would be happy to talk to anyone, pregnant or not, who wants to find out more in an effort to make an informed decision, as would any of my team or the other teams around the county.”
“We know the vaccinations can offer protection against COVID-19, we also know that protection from your previous dose will have waned over time. We’re also about to go into what could be a challenging autumn and winter period when we expect to see COVID-19 and flu co-circulating for the first time, so, provided you’re eligible and it’s at least 90 days since your last dose, please book an appointment for your autumn booster as soon as possible.”