The first Covid-19 booster vaccinations have been administered in Devon.
Roy Warnes was among the first to have his booster dose at the Home Park vaccination site. Roy has volunteered at Home Park since it opened and explained why it was so important to get his booster vaccination today: “I think some people are getting a bit blasé and taking less care. I would say don’t hesitate to get your booster. I’ve got lots of friends who can’t wait to come.”
In line with JCVI advice people will receive either one dose of the Pfizer vaccine or half a dose of the Moderna vaccine. The NHS is contacting everyone who is eligible for a booster so they can book their appointment. People are being asked not to contact the NHS until they receive an invite.
Director of Mass Vaccination, Flu and Testing at University Hospitals Plymouth Sue Wilkins said: “It’s an exciting day! There’s plenty of evidence that it will boost your immunity, whichever of the two vaccines you have. There are lots of places where people can have their booster; we’re making it as easy as possible to attend.”
The Covid-19 vaccination programme began less than ten months ago. In that time all people aged over 16 in Devon have been offered the jab. More than 9 in 10 have had at least one dose and more than 8 in 10 are fully vaccinated.
Latest statistics published by Public
Health England show the impact of the largest ever NHS vaccination programme with around 112,000 lives saved thanks to the programme.
Who can have the booster?
Booster vaccine doses are being offered to people most at risk from COVID-19 who have already had 2 doses of a vaccine.
• people aged 50 and over
• residents of care homes for older adults
• frontline health and social care workers
• people aged 16 and over with a health condition that puts them at high risk of getting seriously ill from Covid-19
• carers aged 16 and over
• people aged 16 and over who live with someone who is more likely to get infections (such as someone who has HIV, has had a transplant or is having certain treatments for cancer, lupus or rheumatoid arthritis)
People who are pregnant and in one of the eligible groups can also get a booster dose.
How can I get my booster?
The NHS will let you know when it’s your turn to have a booster dose. It’s important not to contact the NHS for one before then.
You’ll be offered a booster dose at least 26 weeks (6 months) after you had your 2nd dose.
Please wait to be contacted via letter, text or email before trying to book. The majority of people who are currently eligible will receive their invite within the next three weeks.
Once you have received your invitation, you can book using the National Booking Service. Booster doses are currently only available through booked appointments.
Vaccine teams will visit care homes and offer both staff and residents the vaccine at the same time.
Where can I have the booster?
There are a range of sites where people can have their booster, including English Riviera Centre, Home Park, Greendale, Newton Abbot Racecourse and Barnstaple Leisure Centre.
There are also more local sites including pharmacies and GP practices. Pop up vaccine clinics will also be held, as has happened throughout the vaccination programme.
Third doses for people who are severely immunosuppressed
A third dose is being offered to people over 12 who were severely immunosuppressed at the time of their first or second dose, including those with leukaemia, advanced HIV and recent organ transplants. This offer is separate to the booster programme.
These people may not have a full immune response to vaccination and therefore may be less protected than the wider population.
Patients are being identified through their GP or consultant and invited to book their third dose. There has been high take up of this offer in Devon.
When will vaccinations start for 12-15 year olds?
12-15 year olds will predominantly have their vaccine at school through the School Age Immunisation Services provider in Devon, Plymouth and Torbay. They will be offered one dose of the Pfizer vaccine.
Parental (or guardian/carer) consent will be sought through the digital consent system.
Vaccinations will start in Devon next week, with the aim of offering every eligible child a first dose by half term. Alternative provisions are being made for those not attending school through vaccine centres.
Clinically Extremely Vulnerable 12-15 year olds are already being vaccinated at dedicated clinics.
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