The NHS in Somerset will begin the next phase of Covid-19 vaccinations from the 17th April with its Spring programme, which is geared to protect the most vulnerable residents. Adults in an older persons care home have already been receiving the vaccination since early April and almost a third have already had theirs.
More than 80 thousand people across Somerset are eligible which includes those aged 75 and above, those with a weakened immune system, and older adult care home residents. Invitations are being sent out via letter, text messages or the NHS app and appointments can be made online through the National Booking Service.
Somerset Council’s Public Health team, together with NHS Somerset are encouraging anyone who is eligible to come forward for their spring booster whilst they are still able.
Professor Trudi Grant, Somerset’s Director of Public Health said:
Although life has returned to some normality since the height of the pandemic, I want to remind Somerset residents that Covid is still circulating and can cause serious illness and hospitalisation for our older population and those with weakened immune systems. If you are eligible for the booster this Spring, please take up the opportunity to boost your protection.
Caroline Upton, Head of Nursing and Quality for NHS Somerset Covid Programme said:
It is very easy to book an appointment at one of our clinics. Vaccinations are being offered through a mix of GP surgeries and vaccination centres and we have plenty of available appointments in Somerset.
Because this vaccination is geared towards the more vulnerable, we are asking friends, family and neighbours to consider reaching out to support their loved ones by helping them make their appointments, and if possible, support them in getting to the clinic. The average appointment takes less than 15 minutes.
This latest vaccination is being offered to those considered most at risk, following advice from the Joint Committee of Vaccination and Immunisation and the spring vaccine offer runs until 30th June, after which it will come to an end.
Following recent advice from JCVI, in addition to the spring vaccination offer coming to an end on 30th June, the first or second dose COVID-19 vaccinations for everyone who has yet to receive a vaccine, who was aged 5 on or before 31 August 2022, will also end on that date. This means if you want to receive both initial doses, you will have to have your first dose before the 5th May to be able to have the second by the cut-off date.
After 30th June, the NHS offer will become more targeted to those at increased risk, usually during seasonal campaigns, which means this may be the last opportunity for some people to receive a vaccine through this programme.