Local GPs urge eligible people from all communities to have the autumn Covid booster vaccine

GPs are reminding people in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland (LLR) of the importance of getting the autumn Covid booster when it is their turn.

A series of video messages by local GPs, in a range of community languages, is being shared on social media by the LLR Integrated Care Board (ICB), explaining why it is so important for those most at risk from Covid to make sure their immunity is topped up. The videos are also available on the LLR ICB’s website.

Dr Sulaxni Nainani, Leicester GP and Deputy Chief Medical Officer of the LLR ICB, said: “As we have such a diverse population in Leicester, we want to make sure that this important health message reaches people in their own language, so that everyone who is eligible for the autumn booster has the opportunity to be fully protected ahead of the winter.

“Even if you’ve already had the Covid vaccine, you need to have a booster dose when it is offered to you. This is because the protection offered by each dose of the vaccine reduces over time.”

Currently, people aged 65 and over, people who are immunosuppressed and frontline health and care workers can book an appointment for an autumn booster of the Covid vaccine.

The invitation will later be extended to other eligible age groups to have their vaccine, each group will be invited in priority order. Between now and December the autumn Covid booster will be made available to:

• All frontline health and social care workers
• All adults aged 50 years and over
• People aged 5 to 49 years in a clinical risk group
• People aged 5 to 49 years who are household contacts of people with immunosuppression
• People aged 16 to 49 years who are carers

Those at highest risk will be called in first. You should have your booster at least three months after your last dose of the vaccine.

Dr Caroline Trevithick, Chief Nursing Officer and Deputy Chief Executive of the Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland Integrated Care Board, said: “Throughout the Covid vaccine programme, local GPs have been keen to ensure our messages reach our diverse communities. We know that uptake in some communities has been slower so this is an effective way of reaching particular groups.

“Covid is more serious in older people and in people with certain underlying health conditions. This winter it is expected that many respiratory infections, including Covid and flu, may be circulating at high levels.

“If you have missed any of your Covid vaccination doses you should have them as soon as possible. If you are eligible for the autumn booster but think you have missed a previous booster you should still go ahead – you will not need another dose.”

People who are eligible for a flu vaccine may be able to have this at the same time as their autumn Covid booster.

Our GP videos in various languages urging eligible people to get their autumn booster can be accessed here: https://leicesterleicestershireandrutland.icb.nhs.uk/your-health/vaccinations/

You can book an appointment through the National Booking Service online at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-vaccination/book-coronavirus-vaccination/

You can also book by calling 119.

There are also walk-in clinics, you can find your nearest clinic at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-vaccination/find-a-walk-in-coronavirus-covid-19-vaccination-site/

The NHS will contact people when it is their turn to book in for the vaccine – you do not need to contact the NHS.

Eligible patients may also be contacted by their GP – you do not need to contact your GP practice.

Detailed information about the vaccine and who is eligible can be found at:
https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-vaccination/coronavirus-vaccine/

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