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Gloucestershire Business News

COVID Spring booster vaccination programme starts

The NHS is offering a Spring booster to those at the highest risk of severe illness from COVID including people aged 75 and over, those with a weakened immune system, and residents of care homes for older adults.

This will help offer protection if COVID-19 rates rise over the summer months and reduce their chances of needing hospital treatment if they do catch the virus.

Vaccinations in care homes for older adults started this week. Other eligible people will be invited to book their spring booster soon, with appointments starting from 17 April.

Dr Andy Seymour, chief medical officer, of NHS Gloucestershire said: "We're looking forward to welcoming people again for their spring boosters. Our teams of staff and volunteers will be on hand to help and answer any questions. COVID-19 is still circulating in the community, and we encourage those who are eligible to take up the offer to help protect them over the coming months.

Please be assured that if you're eligible, you will receive an invitation from local NHS services to book in for your vaccination soon, there's no need to contact your GP surgery at this time."

Who can have the spring booster?

The spring booster is available to those who are most vulnerable to COVID-19. People aged 75 and older, residents of care homes for older people and people aged 12 and over who have a weakened immune system are all eligible. 'Weakened immune system' includes those with underlying health conditions such as chronic leukaemia or lymphoma, and those who have had immunosuppressive treatment following an organ transplant or have had radiotherapy or chemotherapy.

How to have the booster

There are two main ways to access a spring booster:

Via appointment at a community vaccination centre

The bulk of vaccinations continues to be provided by appointment through GP-led community vaccination centres across the county. Please note that these appointments are not available on the national booking system (NBS), people will receive an invite directly from local NHS services to book (often via text if your GP practice has a contact number). At the moment, we are asking people who are eligible for a spring booster not to contact their GP surgery, local NHS services will be in touch soon.

The community-based vaccination outreach team will also be offering drop-in clinics at several locations from 17 April. Details can be found on the COVID information portal.

Via the national booking system (NBS)

People may choose to book an appointment at a participating community pharmacy across the county using the NBS telephone number, 119, or via the NBS website. 

If you have had COVID-19 you should ideally wait four weeks before having your spring booster. You should not attend a vaccine appointment if you are self-isolating or waiting for a COVID-19 test. People who are housebound and managers of care homes for older people will be contacted by an appropriate NHS Team to arrange a visit.

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