People encouraged to have Covid booster to protect them from virus

David Pollard receiving vaccination from Leslie Harris

David Pollard receiving his second dose of the vaccination from Leslie Pollard at Riverbank Medical Centre. - Credit: Henry Woodsford

The NHS has begun inviting people in North Somerset for their Covid booster jabs. 

Eligible people, who had their second Covid jab at least six months ago, will be invited for a top up as the NHS vaccination programme moves to the next stage. 

Hospital hubs have started vaccinating frontline health and care workers and identifying eligible patients, with GP-led local vaccination services to follow in the coming days. 

Full vaccination rollout will begin from next week, as more vaccination centres and community pharmacy-led sites join the effort, giving people further protection from the virus ahead of winter. 

Kheelna Bavalia, NHS England’s GP and medical director for the South West region, said: “Alongside one of our busiest summers in the NHS, our hardworking staff have also been gearing up to deliver the autumn booster programme, to give further protection to healthcare and social care workers and those most at risk from the virus.  

“The fast preparations to get ready for boosters comes on the back of our biggest vaccination drive in health history which has delivered more than 77 million vaccinations across the country and over 8 million in the South West.  

“Getting the vaccine remains the best way to protect yourself and those around you from Covid – so please do come forward for this top up of protection when you are invited.” 

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Around 4.5 million people will be eligible for a booster. In line with JCVI advice, people will receive either one dose of the Pfizer vaccine or half a dose of the Moderna vaccine. 

People will get a call or text from their local GP, or they will be invited by the National Booking Service, which will start issuing invitations from next week. 

The booster programme will be delivered through existing vaccination sites including pharmacies, hospital hubs, GP practices and vaccine centres. 

Local NHS areas will be prioritising care home residents and staff ensuring they are offered a vaccine by the beginning of November. 

People eligible for the booster jab include those living in residential care homes; all adults aged 50 or over; frontline health and social care workers; people aged 16-49 with underlying health conditions; adult household contacts of immunosuppressed individuals. 

Local areas have already been identifying and vaccinating people aged 12 and over who are immunosuppressed with a third jab. 

Children aged 12-15 will also be offered a single dose of the Pfizer vaccine in schools from next week.