COVID-19 booster vaccinations
Key messages: booster vaccines
· The NHS offering every adult a Covid-19 booster jab booking by the end of December in a new plan to fight the Omicron variant.
· People should not contact their GP practice to book their booster jab and should use the National Booking Service or call 119.
· The NHS is prioritising bookings for boosters and is urging people to book a slot to guarantee their vital jab.
· Some vaccination sites may offer a walk-in service but the best way to ensure you get a jab is to make an appointment through the national booking service.
· All people aged 18 are now able to book their booster jabs online now
· There are more than 300 vaccination sites in the North West and the vaccination programme is expanding to deal with the extra capacity including new sites and extended opening hours.
· When plans to scale up the vaccination programme are complete, the North West is aiming to vaccinate 100,000 people a day – more than the current record at 88,661 jabs.
Key messages: Access to General Practice
· General practice is working hard to support the covid-19 vaccination programme, we are still here for you but the way you access care may be different
· Face-to-face appointments are available to all patients where there is a clinical need. You will be asked to first discuss your conditions over the phone or online with a member of the healthcare team to assess what would be most appropriate for you and which practice member would best provide it.
· Most common conditions can be assessed and diagnosed by your doctor by telephone or video consultation. They are experienced and skilled in doing this. Using technology like this will help to protect you, your family and loved ones – and GP practice staff from the potential risk of the virus.
· General practice services are extremely busy and are working hard to treat as many patients as possible.
· The UK Health Security Agency reported on Friday 10 December, that there is a significant drop in effectiveness against the Omicron variant after only two vaccines.
· Scientists are concerned by the speed at which Omicron spreads. If we do nothing, 1,000 cases in a day will soon become 8,000 in a week, and 64,000 in two weeks.
· However, analysis shows a third booster prevents around 75% of people getting Covid symptoms.
· While symptoms of Omicron appear to be milder than other variants, it is likely there are many more cases of Omicron in the community than those confirmed by testing.
· These numbers would be on top of the continuing wave of Delta infections, meaning there will be significant numbers of Covid cases by Christmas, with overwhelming numbers very ill by January, topping the numbers we saw in January last year.
· So far, the NHS has delivered over 22 million boosters. The NHS is now asking everyone to come forward for their booster as soon as they are invited in a national effort to minimise the impact of this latest wave.
· All adults aged over 18 can now book a booster jab online or via 119.
· The NHS is now asking you, once again, to come forward as quickly as possible. If you still haven’t had your first or second dose, we urge you to do that now. If you are invited for your booster, book an appointment as soon as possible.
· The NHS is now working to accelerate the booster programme to offer protection to as many people as quickly as possible. We are working to increase capacity, offer extended opening hours, stand up more vaccination centres and support more GPs and community pharmacies to be able to offer lifesaving jabs in every community across the country.
· We are now calling upon all volunteers, staff and partners to once again work with us to deliver the biggest vaccination programme we have ever seen.
Everyone aged 18 and over can now book their booster jab online using the national booking system. People should not contact their GP practice to book a booster jab. If you cannot book online, call 119.
The vaccination programme is rapidly expanding across the region with more than 300 vaccination sites available. Sites are extending their opening times to make it easy and convenient for people to get their life-saving jabs.
Please use the link below to book/manage appointments. Find out further information relating to the Covid-19 booster vaccination.