Boosters for health and care staff and those most vulnerable
The vaccination booster programme is underway across Norfolk and Waveney with priority for third doses being given to those who are immunosuppressed or identified on patient records as being Clinically Extremely Vulnerable.
Hospital consultants and local GPs are working closely together to ensure that these very vulnerable patients are contacted as soon as possible to make an appointment for their third vaccine as these patients are less likely to have retained anti-bodies from their first vaccines.
As part of the initial roll out of booster vaccinations, health and care providers and employers are also currently compiling list of all their staff who require third jabs These individuals will either be vaccinated at clinics provided within their workplaces or directed to clinics at other local vaccination centres.
Said Cath Byford, Chief Nurse with NHS Norfolk and Waveney Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG): “Health and care workers are now starting to receive details of how to book both their covid booster and their flu jabs. It’s vital that all those employed by care providers or working in a healthcare setting make an appointment for their vaccinations as soon as they are offered - winter is just around the corner and you all play a hugely important role in the care of lots of vulnerable people.
“Your health and wellbeing are just as important as that of our service-users. We want you to be as well as possible this winter and have the maximum protection possible from both flu and covid – it’s vital to protect yourself and the people you care for. Thank you for the ongoing role you play in keeping our patients and communities safe and cared for within the Norfolk and Waveney health and care system.”
The following groups are the first eligible cohorts for a booster vaccine:
- those living in residential care homes for older adults
- frontline health and social care workers including those who work in residential and nursing homes for older adults
- all those aged 16 to 49 years with underlying health conditions that put them at higher risk of severe COVID-19 (as set out in the green book), and adult carers
- adult household contacts of immunosuppressed individuals
- all adults aged 50 years or over
Anyone eligible for a booster should wait to be contacted by the NHS to make an appointment.
The library service is offering extra support to anyone who would like support booking a vaccination or booster via the national booking service online.
Staff or volunteers can also show people how to find reliable health information and book health appointments or request repeat prescriptions. These one-to-one sessions can be delivered online over Zoom, or in person in Norfolk Libraries.
Walk-in vaccination clinics running across Norfolk and Waveney are still focused on providing first and second doses for anyone aged 16+ and are not yet providing booster clinics.
GP practices continue to be incredibly busy and need to keep their phone lines open for patients to make appointments with their doctor or practice nurse. Local people are therefore asked not to telephone their practice asking when they will get their booster – the NHS will make contact when it’s your turn.
Latest published data shows that 93% of people in Norfolk and Waveney have had one vaccine dose and 89% have now had two doses.
This sees Norfolk and Waveney ranking as the seventh highest performing health and care system in England for people having had two doses of vaccine – out of 42 health and care systems nationally. More than 18,500 people under the age of 18 have now had a first vaccination.
A third vaccination offers vital protection by boosting the antibodies in the body that fight Covid-19. There is evidence that antibodies decrease over time and that a booster should be offered six months after the second vaccine has been given
The winter months and colder weather brings an increase in respiratory viruses in the community. The booster programme will help keep people out of hospital with serious COVID-19 related illness during what is always a busier season for the NHS. Coronavirus is still circulating and infection rates remain relatively high.
Added Cath: “If you have covid symptoms please book a covid test immediately and stay at home until you have the results, even if symptoms are mild. Please do not attend any health care setting – including GP practices and walk in centres - if you have symptoms of Covid-19. It is vital that we protect our staff and other patients from catching covid.”
The main symptoms of coronavirus are:
- a high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
- a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
- a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you've noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal
You can book a PCR test here: https://self-referral.test-for-coronavirus.service.gov.uk
Notes to editors:
Data released on 30 September by NHS England and Improvement shows that Norfolk and Waveney is continuing to perform strongly in the national vaccination roll out. So far, 93% of people aged 18 and above have had one vaccine, while 89% have had both doses. This compares with national figures of 90% and 84% respectively.
Norfolk and Waveney is ranked seventh out of 42 health and care systems for the number of people having had two doses. The data also shows that more than 18,500 people aged under 18 have already received one dose of the vaccine.
The latest information regarding the vaccination of children and young people aged 12-17 can be found on the NHS Norfolk and Waveney CCG website here: https://www.norfolkandwaveneyccg.nhs.uk/covid/children-and-young-people-12-17-years-covid-19-vaccination. All 12-15 year olds will be offered a vaccination (with parental consent) through schools in the coming weeks, in line with national guidance.
First and second dose vaccine appointments can be booked through the national booking service by visiting nhs.uk/covid-vaccination or telephoning 119. When invited, people can book at one of the vaccination centre, pharmacy or general practice sites that are available through the national booking service. Alternatively, you can visit a walk in centre. To find the latest walk-in vaccine clinics taking place across Norfolk and Waveney, visit: https://apps.norfolk.gov.uk/WalkIn/Form/AllAvailableClinics
Booster jabs (third doses) are by invitation only. Please do not contact your GP or attend a walk in centre. You will be invited for your booster by the NHS.
You do not have to be registered with a GP or have a NHS number to be vaccinated, but it is not yet possible to book an appointment via the NBS without one. For those not registered with a GP or without an NHS number, a growing number of walk-in and pop-up sites are available. Anyone in the UK can choose to register with a GP.
If you have it, please take with you your NHS number to help the vaccination team book you in quickly (please see here). But don’t worry if you don’t have an NHS number or are not registered with a GP / local doctor, you can still get vaccinated.
You do NOT need to show identification (ID) to receive a COVID-19 vaccination and you do not need to give your full name or address. It does not matter whether you are a UK citizen or what your immigration status is, how long you have been here or how long you expect to stay.
Before your vaccination: Don't forget to keep hydrated (bring some bottled water with you) and have something to eat before you come!
For more information about the vaccination programme and for information about vaccines for children and young people visit: https://www.norfolkandwaveneyccg.nhs.uk/covid/children-and-young-people-12-17-years-covid-19-vaccination