By Joshua Robinson –
People who are at higher risk of serious illness from COVID-19 will be invited to get their winter vaccinations.
They will be able to book their jabs through the NHS website, the NHS App or by calling 119. Eligible groups may also be offered vaccination by GP surgeries or through other local NHS services.
Those eligible include:
- All adults aged 65 and over
- People aged 6 months to 64 years in a clinical risk group
- Frontline health and social care workers
- People aged 12 to 64 who are household contacts of people with immunosuppression
- People aged 16 to 64 who are carers and staff working in care homes for older adults
The vaccination programme for residents of adult care homes and people who are housebound began over a fortnight ago.
The NHS is encouraging people to get both COVID and flu vaccinations as soon as they can and not wait, due to the risk of a new COVID-19 variant.
Those eligible will be invited to book a vaccination appointment in priority order, starting with those at greatest risk.
Rachel Spencer-Henshall, Strategic Director for Public Health at Kirklees Council said: “I would urge everyone who is eligible to top up their protection before winter hits, even if you have had a vaccine or been ill with flu or COVID before. This is because immunity wanes over time and these viruses change each year. Having the flu and COVID vaccinations is the best way to protect yourself and your family this winter.”
Last year, the NHS faced the ‘twindemic’ of flu and covid with high occupancy rates in hospitals and high pressure on staff, so plans for this winter are already underway.
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Dr James Thomas, Medical Director for the NHS West Yorkshire Integrated Care Board, said: “The NHS flu and COVID vaccination programmes have been very effective in protecting those at greatest risk and we will work at speed to ensure they are protected once again this year.”
“With concerns arising over new COVID variants, it’s vital we adapt the programme and bring it forward for those most at risk, and so I strongly urge everyone eligible to come forward as soon as they can for this important protection in colder months.”
Dr Thomas added: “The vaccine continues to provide the best protection against serious illness and hospitalisation from COVID-19 so please make sure you get vaccinated when offered and encourage loved ones who are eligible to do the same.”
“NHS staff have worked hard to ensure services are ready for patients to get jabbed at an earlier stage so they can get their protection as soon as possible.”
COVID and Flu Vaccination Programme
Following guidance from the Chief Medical Officer and the UK Health Security Agency, NHS England brought forward its COVID and flu vaccination programme, which was due to start at the beginning of October.
The guidance was given following the emergence of the COVID variant BA.2.86, which is currently under assessment by UKHSA.
Last year, the NHS carried out its second biggest ever flu vaccination campaign, with more than 21 million flu vaccinations given to adults and children, while more than 17 million COVID jabs were delivered last winter.
Earlier this year, NHS England announced more than 86 million COVID vaccination appointments have been arranged using the online national booking system since its launch two years ago.
For more information please visit: www.kirklees.gov.uk/covid19vaccinations