NHS Somerset and Somerset Council welcomes the recent Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JVVI) announcement around the introduction of the winter flu and Covid-19 autumn booster programme and are encouraging those that are eligible, to come forward for their autumn booster when they are contacted.
Covid autumn booster programme
The Covid-19 vaccine is being offered to those at high risk of serious disease and who are therefore most likely to benefit from the vaccination. Specifically, JCVI advises the following groups to be offered a Covid-19 booster vaccine this autumn:
- residents in a care home for older adults
- all adults aged 65 years and over
- persons aged 6 months to 64 years in a clinical risk group, as laid out in the Immunisation Green Book, Covid-19 chapter (Green Book)
- frontline health and social care workers
- persons aged 12 to 64 years who are household contacts (as defined in the Green Book) of people with immunosuppression
- persons aged 16 to 64 years who are carers (as defined in the Green Book) and staff working in care homes for older adults
NHS England has confirmed it will start by prioritising flu vaccinations for children from September, to prevent children from getting seriously ill from flu and ending up in hospital, and to break the chain of transmission of the virus to the wider population.
School aged children will be able to get the flu vaccine at school or at community clinics, and those with long term health conditions can also get the vaccine at GP surgeries. Children aged two and three years will be able to get an appointment with their GP practice.
This year, based on the latest scientific evidence, the JCVI has recommended adults over the age of 65 and those with underlying health conditions will be eligible for a flu and covid-19 vaccination, with the offer starting from early October, to maximise protection for patients right across the winter months.
The flu season typically peaks in January so vaccinating adults in October will mean those at greatest risk will be better protected in the coldest months when viruses circulate more as people gather indoors.
Shona Turnbull-Kirk, Associate Director for Health Inclusion at NHS Somerset said:
The flu and Covid-19 vaccination programme provides vital protection to those eligible and their families over winter, keeping people from developing serious illnesses, and helping to minimise hospitalisations during busy winter months.
Councillor Adam Dance, Lead Member for Public Health, Equalities at Somerset Council said:
It is important that those eligible for the autumn booster come forward this autumn to continue to protect themselves against Covid-19.
The vaccination does fade over time so it’s essential to keep up with having your boosters. Covid is still circulating and can cause serious illness, hospitalisation for our older population and those with a weakened immune system.
For more advice about Covid-19 visit: COVID-19 (nhs.uk).