Local COVID spring booster programme has a bumper week of vaccinations

The COVID spring booster programme in Suffolk and north east Essex is bucking the national trend by continuing to see an increase in the number of eligible people taking up the offer of this valuable health protection.

On average 2713 spring boosters are being administered each day locally, with last week (w/c April 27) seeing the highest ever uptake of 18,914, and with a bumper 5006 boosters administered on one day, April 29.

These latest figures also show that those who have never had a COVID vaccination or have had only one, are continuing to come forward, with an average of 11 1st and 2nd doses being administered each day.

The success of the programme is being attributed to the fact that Suffolk and north east Essex continues to offer no-appointment, walk-in clinics as well as booked appointments, meaning people have more choice to conveniently access a vaccination.

There are currently more than 20 walk-in clinic locations listed on the local vaccination website and spring boosters are available to everyone aged 75 and over and those aged 5 – 74 and who are immunosuppressed.  Booked appointments can be made via the national NHS booking website or by calling 119 and the local telephone helpline is available on 0344 257 3961 to answer any questions on COVID vaccination.

In line with national guidance COVID spring boosters and 1st and 2nd doses will be available only until June 30.

Elizabeth Moloney, who is leading the COVID vaccination programme for the NHS Suffolk and North East Essex Integrated Care Board, said: “I’m so pleased the wish for the best COVID health protection remains with our local population, and we are still seeing a keen desire for those eligible for a spring booster to come forward.

“I believe that making access as easy as possible is the main reason why our programme continues to be successful, with eligible people able to choose whether they’d like to attend a walk-in pop up clinic or book an appointment. The whole process takes less than 15 minutes, and people leave the clinic with the assurance that they have the best possible protection against COVID, which is still with us and causing distress and discomfort for many.

“It is pleasing too that people who have never had a COVID vaccination or had only one dose are recognising that they can still come forward and that there is very good reason to do so. 

“While an average of 11 vaccinations a day might seem small, consider how many contacts with family and friends those people might have, increasing the risk of COVID infection across the community.  There are many reasons why people are not fully vaccinated, and I want to assure them we are not here to judge them; our only wish is to best protect their health.”