November 2, 2021 11.49 am

Don’t “Grab-a-Jab” without booking, say Lincolnshire health bosses

National announcement caused confusion locally

Health bosses are urging people not to turn up for “walk-in” booster jabs after a national initiative caused confusion yesterday.

National NHS bosses on Monday opened hundreds of walk-in sites across the country to offer booster vaccines as they restarted a “Grab-a-Jab” campaign.

However, Lincolnshire’s Mass Vaccination sites at the Lincolnshire Showground and Boston’s Princess Royal Sports Arena are not currently taking part and are instead asking people to book an appointment when invited.

One resident, Mrs Jones, said she drove an hour and a half from her home on Monday after seeing the national news on Monay, only to be turned away at the gates because she had not booked.

“When the stuff you are reading says ‘yes, go and get it’ you go thinking there will be vaccine availability,” she said.

She said the news yesterday was “confusing” adding, “I should be able to walk in somewhere and grab a jab”.

“I’m not going back,” she added.

“Lincolnshire Showground can stick their jab where it hurts.”

Elsewhere, residents have reported long waits  of up to an hour or more over the past day or so.

Carol Homes said on social media that she stood for 45 minutes despite booking in.

“People coming in after us were given seats and then seen before us,” she said.

“The hall was rammed with people.. not a very good experience at all,” she added.

A spokesman for NHS Lincolnshire CCG, which runs the vaccination sites, said they had been clear from the outset that people need to book their appointment when invited, adding: “lots of people are doing exactly this, which is fantastic”.

“There might occasionally be instances where people are sometimes having to wait a while, but the teams on sites will manage this as best as they can and we’d ask for peoples understanding,” they said.

There is no issue regarding supply and there is good availability for pre-booked boosters.

I appreciate there’s a difference in approach to boosters between the national push on walk-ins and what we are doing in Lincolnshire, however, our approach to boosters (i.e. not doing them as walk-ins/asking people to book when invited) has been consistent.”

As of yesterday, the spokesman confirmed more than 90,000 jabs had been given out.

Booster vaccines are being pushed in order to improve the protection of those most at risk from COVID-19 and health bosses say it will give longer-term protection against serious illness from the virus.

So, who’s eligible for the vaccine?

To get a third dose of the vaccine you must have had your second jab at least six months ago.

The most vulnerable groups being targeted include:

  • people aged 50 and over
  • people who live and work in care homes
  • 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
  • people aged 16 and over who are a main carer for someone at high risk
  • people aged 16 and over who live with someone who is more likely to get infections including HIV-positive people, transplant patients or those having treatments for cancer, lupus or rheumatoid arthritis
  • People who are pregnant and in 1 of the eligible groups can also get a booster dose.

How to get your COVID-19 booster vaccine

Eligible patients will be contacted by the NHS when it’s their turn. It is best somewhere between six to nine months since your second jab.

The NHS is asking people not to contact them, though frontline or social care workers can book an appointment online and will usually get it through their employer.

Where will the vaccine be offered?

Most vaccines will be given at:

  • Lincolnshire Showground
  • Boston’s Princess Royal Sports Arena
  • A local pharmacy
  • A GP Surgery

Which COVID-19 vaccine will you get?

Most people will be offered Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine or Moderna vaccine, but some may be offered Oxford/Astrazeneca if the others are not available

The booster dose may be different from the vaccines received for first and second doses.

Where to book your vaccine?

Click here.

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