No appointment COVID spring booster clinics begin on Monday

The health care system across Suffolk and north east Essex is gearing up for next Monday (April 17) – when those eligible for a COVID spring booster will be able to get their vaccination.

It’s estimated that 131,984 people locally are eligible for the spring booster – with 110,745 over 75s, 16,039 people aged 5+ who are immunosuppressed and 5200 care home residents all able to take up the offer of additional protection against the COVID virus, which continues to be present in our communities and remains a threat to people’s health and wellbeing.

Already more than 30 pop-up, no appointment clinics are listed on the local COVID vaccination website and locations will be regularly added.

GP practices will be contacting eligible patients and appointments at community pharmacies can also be made via the national NHS website or by calling 119.

Since April 4 care home residents have been receiving their vaccinations from dedicated teams going into each home. Already 2668 residents, more than 50% of those eligible, have received theirs – making an excellent start to this vaccination campaign.

The COVID vaccination programme began in 2020 and Suffolk and north east Essex has consistently been highlighted as one of the best performing areas in the country for its work in ensuring as many eligible people as possible are vaccinated.

Eligible people will be able to get their spring booster until June 30. The current offer of 1st and 2nd (primary) doses of the COVID vaccination for everyone aged five and over will also come to an end at the same time on June 30.

Elizabeth Moloney, who is leading the COVID vaccination programme locally, said: “I urge anyone eligible for a spring booster to check out where they can get theirs, either by going along to one of the many pop-up clinics from Monday or by booking an appointment.

“We are already off to a great start supporting care home residents, and I very much hope all who are eligible  will take up this offer. COVID is still out there, it certainly hasn’t gone away, and we know that vaccination offers the best protection for people’s health and wellbeing.

“Having the vaccine literally takes minutes, so please, if you are eligible, get yours from Monday.”

There is a local COVID vaccination helpline on 0344 257 3961 for anyone with any questions, open Monday to Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.