This week, the NHS in Leicester, Leicestershire, and Rutland (LLR) has begun the next phase of its Covid-19 and flu vaccination programme to protect the most vulnerable in our communities.
The decision to begin the vaccination programme earlier than planned means those most at risk from winter illnesses – including people in care homes, the clinically vulnerable, those aged 65 and over, health and social care staff, pregnant women, carers and household contacts of immunosuppressed individuals – will all be able to access a Covid-19 booster vaccine this month.
The annual flu vaccine will also be made available to these groups at the same time wherever possible, to ensure they are protected ahead of winter. The autumn campaign provides all eligible people the opportunity to have both their Covid-19 booster and flu vaccines at the same time.
Those living in care homes will be prioritised with vaccination teams starting to administer vaccines this week and they will continue to vaccinate in care homes across LLR throughout September and October. All other eligible groups will be able to start receiving their vaccinations from Tuesday 19 September 2023.
People will be invited for a vaccination by their GP practice. They may also receive an invitation to book using the National Booking service website or by calling 119, by letter, text message or via the NHS App. The National Booking Service will open for eligible people to book from Monday 18 September 2023 with vaccine appointments for both Covid-19 and flu being available from 19 September onwards.
Anyone who believes they should be eligible for a vaccine but does not get invited can
self-declare via the National Booking Service and then speak to a clinician on site. There must also be a gap of at least three months between Covid-19 vaccinations. The NHS App will be able to provide details of all previous Covid-19 vaccinations.
In Leicester, Leicestershire, and Rutland there are a variety of ways in which people can access vaccines this autumn. The majority of vaccinations will be provided by GP practices and pharmacies. Hospital sites across LLR including the Leicester Royal Infirmary, the Leicester General Hospital and Glenfield Hospital will also be providing vaccination clinics which can all be booked using the National Booking System or by calling 119. A mobile vaccination service will also be visiting local communities so people can get their vaccinations without making an appointment.
Dr Virginia Ashman, a GP, and a clinical lead for the Covid-19 vaccination programme in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland said: “It’s really important that anyone who is eligible comes forward when invited, to top up their protection against Covid-19 and flu ahead of winter. The immunity you have built up from previous vaccinations reduces over time so it’s important to boost your protection regularly.
“Getting vaccinated will provide the best possible protection against Covid-19, and it really does help to protect the most vulnerable from becoming seriously unwell. Older people and those with underlying medical conditions are affected more by respiratory conditions such as Covid-19 and flu and it’s why we’re encouraging them to get vaccinated as soon as possible. We are also urging carers over 16 years of age to come forward and get vaccinated because this will also help to prevent the spread of these viruses. If you are unsure if you are eligible visit our website or drop in to one of our mobile vaccination clinics and speak to our vaccination team.”
Appointments can be booked for Covid-19 booster and flu vaccinations using the National Booking Service from 18 September.