Time is running out to get your Covid-19 vaccine

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The NHS in Leicestershire and Rutland is urging those who have yet to take up the offer of a Covid-19 vaccination or the latest spring booster to come forward as soon as possible, as the spring vaccination programme comes to an end on 30th June 2023.

People aged 75 years and older, residents in care homes for older people, and those aged five years and over with a weakened immune system are currently being offered a spring booster of the coronavirus (Covid-19) vaccine.

Covid-19 is more serious in older people and in people with certain underlying health conditions which weakens their immune system, so it’s especially important that they protect themselves. This includes those who had or have:
• blood cancers (such as leukaemia or lymphoma)
• lowered immunity due to treatment of other medical conditions (such as steroid medication, biological therapy, chemotherapy or radiotherapy)
• lowered immunity due to inherited disorders of the immune system
• an organ or bone marrow transplant
• diseases that affect the immune system such as poorly controlled HIV
• other diseases or treatments as advised by their specialist.

Dr Fahreen Dhanji, a Leicestershire GP and a clinical lead for the local vaccination programme said: “It’s particularly important that people with a weakened immune system do top up their immunity against Covid-19 by getting a booster vaccine. Over time the protection you get from previous Covid vaccines reduces, meaning that it is important for those that are already vulnerable or more susceptible to contracting viruses such as Covid to get vaccinated regularly. Especially as booster vaccines are updated to target different Covid variants and offer more protection against current strains of the virus. Covid hasn’t gone away and if you’re at higher risk please get your vaccine now to get maximum protection”

Last chance for a first or second dose for healthy people

This spring vaccination campaign is also the very last chance for healthy individuals aged five and over to get either their first or second doses of the vaccine if they have missed any. After 30th June, the vaccine will only be available to those at increased risk from Covid-19 and during seasonal campaigns, the next of which is expected to be in the autumn.

Dr Fahreen Dhanji continued: “The vaccine offers the best protection against Covid-19 and it’s because of the Covid vaccine that many people only experience mild symptoms if they get Covid-19. If you are healthy, do take up this final chance to get a first or second dose of the vaccine, while you still can.”

How to get a vaccine

As long as it’s been 3 months since your last dose, you can book online using the national Covid-19 booking service or you can go to a walk-in vaccination clinic. If you do not have access to the internet, you can call 119 instead to find a clinic. In many cases, people will also be invited for a vaccination by their GP practice, but you don’t need to wait for this.

If you have a weakened immune system, you can also book your vaccination at specialist clinics at Leicester Royal Infirmary’s Vaccination Hub, located outside Accident and Emergency. The clinics are available to book using the National Booking Service, but you can also contact the local hub directly by emailing vachubuhl@uhl-tr.nhs.uk or calling 0300 303 1573. Health professionals at the clinic will ask you for more information about your specific condition to confirm whether it is suitable for you, before proceeding with your vaccination.

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