Home Coronavirus: News and Advice Protect yourself this winter: COVID-19 vaccine and boosters

Protect yourself this winter: COVID-19 vaccine and boosters

by Guy Murphy

The local NHS is encouraging as many Knowsley residents as possible to protect themselves this winter by getting their COVID-19 vaccine.

As the country moves into Phase 3 of the COVID-19 vaccination programme which will offer a third top-up dose or ‘booster’ vaccination to residents, starting with the elderly and most clinically vulnerable first.

People are also reminded that vaccination sites will continue to stay open for first and second dose vaccines too.

The risk of COVID-19 infection has not gone away. Currently, infection rates in Knowsley are still too high, and over 25% of the local eligible population still haven’t taken up the offer of vaccination and remain unprotected.

The colder weather will mean that people spend more time inside, increasing the likelihood of spreading or contracting viruses – including COVID-19.

It’s therefore really important to protect yourself and your loved ones ahead of winter by getting vaccinated as soon as possible.

Anyone aged 16 or over is eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccination at a drop-in centre, through their GP practice or by booking an appointment – call 119 or visit: www.nhs.uk/covid-vaccination

To locate your nearest vaccination clinic, call 119, visit www.nhs.uk/covid-vaccination or call your GP practice to discuss the options available to you.

For any residents who are struggling to get to a vaccination clinic, Healthwatch Knowsley can provide support including a free taxi service. Call Healthwatch on 0151 449 3954 – lines are open Monday to Friday from 9am – 5pm.

Below is some further important information about Knowsley’s COVID-19 booster programme:

Getting your booster vaccine:

  • People don’t need to contact their GP practice or another NHS organisation to ask for a booster vaccination – eligible individuals will be invited when it is time to be vaccinated, either with a letter or a phone call.
  • Booster doses will be administered across numerous sites in Knowsley, including GP practices.
  • There must be at least 26 weeks between your 2nd and 3rd COVID-19 vaccinations.
  • Boosters will be offered to people based on clinical priority, starting with those with severely weakened immune systems and/or deemed clinically extremely vulnerable, care home residents, adults aged 40+, and frontline health and social care workers.
  • It is completely safe to get the COVID-19 booster and the flu jab at the same appointment (if this is offered).
  • COVID-19 booster vaccinations provided in Knowsley will be Pfizer. If you have had either AstraZeneca or Moderna previously, then you are still able to have Pfizer as a booster.
  • If there is a clinical reason you cannot have Pfizer, alternatives will be made available, and this should be discussed with your GP practice.
  • The COVID-19 booster is a single vaccination.

Getting a COVID-19 vaccine:

  • Vaccination clinics and drop-ins are still operating across Knowsley, providing first and second dose COVID-19 vaccinations to residents.
  • To locate your nearest vaccination clinic, call 119, visit nhs.uk/covid-vaccination or call your GP practice to discuss the options available to you.
  • All healthy children aged 12-15 will be immunised at school with the consent of their parent/guardian. If they are not in school on the day of vaccination, it can be arranged at a later date.
  • Children aged 12-15 who are classified as at risk or vulnerable to infection, will be contacted by their GP.

Visit www.knowsleyccg.nhs.uk for the latest updates from your local NHS.