The COVID booster rollout across Suffolk and north east Essex has got off to a flying start with more than 12,500 vaccines administered in the first week – a greater number than any other area in the East of England.
Walk-in clinics opened last Monday (Sept 11) and almost 100 dates and locations are currently listed on the local COVID vaccination website www.sneevaccine.org.uk where those eligible can receive the vaccine with no need for an appointment.
From today, Monday Sept 18, those eligible are able to book an appointment via the national online booking system or by calling 119 anytime.
To make accessing COVID protection as easy and convenient as possible more pharmacies than ever before are offering the vaccine. 65 pharmacies across the patch are participating in the rollout compared to 35 previously, including in Haverhill where the NHS has teamed up with the Clare Pharmacy to deliver a daily (Monday to Saturday) walk-in clinic at the Haverhill Health Centre.
Elizabeth Moloney, who is leading the COVID vaccination rollout for the NHS Suffolk and North East Essex Integrated Care Board, said: “The last week has seen a great many people come forward which certainly lays to rest any fears of COVID fatigue.
“People obviously recognise that the virus is still out there and that vaccination remains one of the very best ways to protect not only their own health, but the health of their family and loved ones too.
“The walk-in clinics have seen a brisk attendance and from today those who prefer a booked appointment can make one to suit.
“If you’re eligible please don’t put off getting protected. There are so many opportunities to get it done so you are best protected for the cold winter months.
“Thank you to everyone who has taken up this offer of protection and to all the staff who are working so hard to make the rollout such a success.”
Eligibility for the COVID booster is decided nationally by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) which advises the government. The following groups are eligible:
- 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
- Frontline health and social care workers
- Persons aged 12 to 64 years who are household contacts of people with immunosuppression
- Persons aged 16 to 64 years who are carers and staff working in care homes for older adults.