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Norfolk and Waveney residents urged to get COVID-19 booster or third primary dose vaccine

Eligible residents in Norfolk and Waveney are being urged to get their COVID-19 booster jab or third primary dose.

With cases of the virus increasing health experts are encouraging people to book their booster or third primary dose as soon as they are invited.

It comes as the latest figures from NHS England and Improvement show that Norfolk and Waveney continues to perform strongly in the national vaccination roll out.

So far, 94% of people aged over 18 in Norfolk and Waveney have had their first dose of vaccine and 90% have had two doses. This compares with national figures of 90% and 85% respectively.

Meanwhile local data shows that nearly 65,000 booster vaccinations have been given in Norfolk and Waveney which translates to nearly 40% of the eligible population, this is good progress but we need everyone who is eligible to come forward.

Booster jabs and third primary doses are being offered to vulnerable adults to make sure they have a high level of protection heading into winter, as research suggests the protection provided by vaccines decreases gradually over time.

Cath Byford Chief Nurse at NHS Norfolk and Waveney Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is encouraging everyone invited for a vaccination to come forward

“If you haven’t had your first or second vaccination now is the time to come forward as winter approaches,” she said.

“Getting two doses of a vaccine is the best way to reduce your chances of becoming seriously ill with COVID-19 and ending up in hospital.

“I’d also encourage anyone to book their booster or third primary dose when they are invited to.”

Cath added: “The NHS is always under additional pressure during the autumn and winter as respiratory infections take hold. Reducing covid-related hospital admissions will help the NHS cope better during the winter months and reduce disruption to routine and planned care.”

NHS Norfolk and Waveney CCG has made it easier and clearer for people to understand the differences between the COVID-19 booster vaccination and the COVID-19 third primary dose.

There is a key difference between the two - and this is not the vaccine itself - the effectiveness is exactly the same.

Those eligible for a COVID-19 booster have to wait six months, or 182 days since their second dose.

Those eligible for a primary third dose simply get this quicker, not having to wait 6 months or 182 days.

Due to the fact that individuals who are eligible for a third primary dose are severely immunosuppressed, this is why they can get their third dose quicker.

The COVID-19 booster programme is the rollout of an additional vaccine dose to people who have previously received two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine to ensure continued protection for those most at risk from COVID-19.

We want to make sure that the most vulnerable people maintain high levels of protection against covid as we go into winter.

The guidance states that the following people should be offered a booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in the same order as the first part of the vaccination programme.

  • those living in residential care homes for older adults
  • all adults aged 50 years or over
  • 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

Further information on COVID-19 boosters is available here Booster COVID-19 Vaccinations - Norfolk and Waveney CCG.

Individuals who are severely immunosuppressed are eligible to get an additional third dose of vaccine as part of their primary course of immunisation.

This offer is separate to the booster programme - if you are eligible for a third primary dose, you are not eligible for a booster as well.

Letters have been sent to a number of individuals from the NHS in Norfolk and Waveney providing a walk-in option for their third primary dose. Instead of waiting for GP practices to invite these individuals forward, you can visit a walk-in centre.

If you have received a letter from the NHS saying you need a ‘third primary dose’, you can go to one of the following walk-in clinics. You should wait eight weeks after your second dose: https://apps.norfolk.gov.uk/Primary3. Please take your letter with you when you attend a walk-in clinic.

If you have been contacted by the NHS and you are eligible for third primary dose, it is really important that you take up this offer of a third dose. As long as you had your second dose of your COVID-19 vaccination more than eight weeks ago, you can get your third primary dose.

However, it is important to note that if you have had a COVID-19 booster vaccine recently, you will not need a third primary dose at this time.

Further information is available here Third primary dose COVID-19 vaccinations - Norfolk and Waveney CCG.

It comes as young people aged 12 to 15 year olds who missed their vaccination at school, are being offered vaccines at a number of large vaccination centres across Norfolk and Waveney.

It is now possible to book appointments for this age group at the majority of large scale vaccination centres in Norfolk and Waveney via the National Booking Services at www.nhs.uk/covidvaccine or by calling 119. 

Appointments for this age group will be available on Saturdays and Sundays from 8.30am to 4.00pm and from 4.30pm to 7.30pm on certain evenings at different sites. In addition, during half term week (25 to 31 October), appointments will also be available between 8.30am and 4.00pm.

Vaccinations for 12-15 year olds cannot be accessed on a walk-in basis so please ensure you book an appointment.

Alternatively, parents and young people can still choose to access the vaccination programme being delivered in schools by Hertfordshire and East Anglia Community School Aged Immunisation Service.

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