Covid-19 Vaccination bulletin
10 September 2021
Although there is no confirmation yet on the COVID-19 booster programme, we’re expecting a government announcement soon and anticipating a roll-out during the latter half of this month. We are ready to mobilise, thanks to everyone’s efforts behind the scenes.
The flu vaccine season is also getting underway and we’re encouraging everyone who is eligible, to ensure they get their flu jab as soon as it is offered. We know that there’s currently a national delay to the supply of flu vaccines, due to distribution issues nationally. This is of course, out of the control of the GP practices, who are working closely with their suppliers to ensure appointments are scheduled in line with supply. GPs are contacting all eligible patients as soon as they can to ensure that everyone gets their flu jab. You can also continue getting in touch with your GP or community pharmacy to arrange your flu appointment. We would like to thank everyone for their patience at this busy time.
We continue to work with our care homes who are facing an 11 November deadline to have all staff and contract workers double vaccinated. To meet this, first doses need to be given by 16 September. We know our system is under significant pressure at the moment, and this could get worse in November if there is a shortage of care home workers. We’re in a strong position locally that the vast majority of our care home workers have now had their vaccine. However, those last few percent will make all the difference this winter. Our local authorities are doing a huge amount of work to support care homes and reduce any remaining hesitancy. Remember, this applies not only to staff and volunteers working in care homes but also to visiting contractors whether tradesmen, activity coordinators, doctors or pharmacists.
You’ll see that we’ve added a new segment to the bulletin. ‘This week you’ve asked us about…’ will appear in each issue and will feature one of the many questions we are asked about vaccines. We hope you find this a useful and informative addition.
Neil Carr Paddy Hannigan
Senior Responsible Officer Clinical Lead
COVID-19 vaccination programme COVID-19 vaccination Programme
This week you’ve asked us about …
Third and booster COVID-19 vaccine doses – are they the same?
Third and booster COVID-19 doses are different to us.
When we refer to the booster dose, we mean the one we would give after the first two primary doses to ‘boost’ immunity that may have started reducing months after the second vaccine dose. This applies to most of the population who get double vaccinated. Although it is a ‘third’ dose, its role is to increase immunity up to the higher levels it would have been closer to when the first two vaccination doses had been administered. We are expecting a government announcement later this month, about how and to whom this will be rolled out.
A third vaccine dose (newly approved) is the one that we will give to people aged 12 and over who have severely weakened immune systems. This group will also have had their first two COVID-19 doses but research tells us around 40% of people who are immunsosuppressed get only a low antibody response despite being double vaccinated. For this reason, we will administer a third dose to help their immunity reach the same levels as most people get after two doses to help them get the same level of protection as the rest of the population. All three jabs are part of this group’s primary doses.
Maternity updates to easy-read leaflets
The UK Health Security Agency has updated easy-read guides on COVID-19 and vaccination to include new information for women who might get pregnant, who are pregnant or are breastfeeding their baby. You will find the revised leaflet here.