December 31, 2021 10.37 am

Boosters open for over 18s as clinically vulnerable shun jab in Lincolnshire

‘Get your vaccines – especially if you’re immunosuppressed’

COVID-19 booster jabs have been opened to all eligible adults on Friday as the latest government data says 61.1% of Lincolnshire residents have had theirs.

The government is celebrating this morning after hitting its target of being able to offer every person aged 18-plus a third dose of the vaccine by the New Year.

Nationally, more than 28.1 million people in England – more than 7 in 10 of eligible adults – have now had their booster including around 90% of those aged 50 and over.

Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid said: “Our world-leading vaccination programme has meant tens of millions of people have been able to see their loved ones this Christmas knowing they have the protection of the booster.

 “I am incredibly proud of the work the NHS has done to accelerate the programme and offer my thanks to the frontline staff, volunteers, armed forces and British public who have made it possible for us to meet this commitment.”

The government said the festive period saw more than 214,000 jabs reported across Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day, including 184,445 boosters.

All adults can get the jab by booking online through the National Booking Service or by visiting their nearest walk-in vaccination centre.

 Three doses provides around 70% protection against symptomatic infection from Omicron.

Recent UKHSA data showed people who are unvaccinated are up to eight times more likely to be hospitalised than those who are fully vaccinated.

According to the government’s COVID dashboard more than 1,604,236 vaccinations have been given in Lincolnshire so far, including 435,056 boosters.

Bosses said that between December 14 and 29, excluding Christmas and Boxing Day, 119,036 booster vaccines were given.

Around 80% of the county is now double-jabbed, while 61.1% are triple-dosed.

A chart showing the vaccine uptake for over 12s, the darker blue represents the third, or booster, dose. | Image: gov.uk

NHS bosses in the county, however, are particularly pushing anyone who is immunosuppressed and/or living with underlying conditions that classify them as ‘clinically vulnerable’ to urgently come forward for their jabs.

“Being immunosuppressed and having a weakened immune system can be due to certain diseases or conditions, like some cancers, AIDS, and some genetic disorders, or as a result of receiving certain medicines or treatments like anticancer drugs, radiation therapy, and stem cell or organ transplant,” explains Rebecca Neno, director of COVID and influenza vaccination programmes at NHS Lincolnshire CCG.

“We have a sizeable number in Lincolnshire who fall into the ‘clinically vulnerable’ category and who have not yet come forwards for their vaccinations, or perhaps have had first or first and second doses but no booster.  As with immunosuppressed people, I cannot emphasise enough how important is it for you to come and get your vaccinations, again with particular reference to the very rapid spread of the Omicron variant.

“If you are immunosuppressed/have a weakened immune system, a third primary dose – and subsequently a booster dose – of the COVID vaccination may help give you better protection, which again is why we are asking you to come forwards as quickly as possible.”

Guidance says there needs to be eight weeks between the second dose and third dose, and three months between the third primary dose and booster for those who are clinically vulnerable.

Anyone who is immunosuppressed and has a letter confirming this from their hospital consultant or GP,  can get their vaccine on a walk-in basis at either of the county’s two Mass Vaccination Centres at PRSA, Boston, or at the Lincolnshire Showground or can book online using the National Booking System if you are aged 18 or over.

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