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The local COVID vaccination programme is still going strong

Following the announcement of JCVI interim advice that a further COVID booster is likely to be offered in the autumn, the NHS in Suffolk and north east Essex is reminding people that there is still plenty of vaccine supply - and anyone eligible who has not had their full complement of COVID vaccinations is encouraged to come forward.

Everyone aged 5+ is entitled to get free NHS COVID protection. We’re particularly keen to ensure anyone who is vulnerable, including those people who are 75 years old or above or immunosuppressed, are fully protected. 

Last week saw an impressive 9084 vaccinations administered locally across all age groups, of which 6953 were Spring boosters, 1044 were first boosters, 505 were 2nd doses and 571 were first doses.

For those who received their first-ever COVID vaccine many of them recognised that although they may have had COVID previously, vaccination offers better protection against future virus variants and Long COVID than natural immunity. It also best protects the health of family, friends and vulnerable members of the community.

The details of the autumn booster programme are yet to be confirmed and people are asked not to contact their GP practice but to wait until further national announcements are made.

The local NHS website at www.sneevaccine.org.uk offers trusted facts about the vaccine and vaccination, as well as details of eligibility, dates and locations of walk-in clinics and advice on how to book an appointment.  The local telephone helpline is open seven days a week and anyone with questions or concerns can contact 0344 257 3961 for trusted advice.

The many walk-in clinics taking place over the coming weeks include at Clacton Pier, Harwich Pavilion, The Colchester Mayor’s Festival of Diversity, ARC shopping Centre in Bury St Edmunds and the Jubilee Festival in Felixstowe– the list of locations is updated and refreshed on the website daily.

Elizabeth Moloney, who is leading the vaccination programme across the Suffolk and North East Essex Integrated Care System, says: “Although COVID vaccination has dropped down the news agenda, COVID is still very much in evidence across our communities and our local vaccination programme is still going strong and offering vaccination to all those who are eligible.

“As we approach summer it’s wholly understandable that people want to put the last two challenging years behind them and forget about COVID, but I urge them to take some time and consider how we still need to protect ourselves and others so we are best placed to make the most of the summer.

“Getting vaccinated doesn’t take long - merely a matter of minutes.  It is the best way to protect yourself and those you care about from COVID-19 and minimises the potential debilitating effects of Long-COVID.  If you have any questions or doubts, please pop into any vaccination site, look at our website for trusted facts, or give our helpline a call – our friendly volunteers and health care professionals will be there to support you.”

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