Over 50s urged to book a booster jab

The next phase of NHS Borders’ Covid-19 booster and flu vaccination programme began on Monday, November 15.

By Kevin Janiak
Tuesday, 16th November 2021, 1:59 pm
Over-50s are now being urged to book their Covid booster and flu vaccine for appointments in December.
Over-50s are now being urged to book their Covid booster and flu vaccine for appointments in December.

In this phase, a self-booking portal has been launched for appointments throughout December for all adults over 50, carers, and people aged 16 to 49 years with specific risk factors that make them eligible under the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI)’s clinical advice.

The JCVI has advised that at least 24 weeks should have passed since receiving the second dose of the Covid-19 vaccine, before a booster is administered.

Up to now, vaccination teams have offered the Covid-19 booster and flu jabs to the majority of care home residents and staff.

People on the highest risk list who were severely immunosuppressed at the time of their last Covid-19 vaccination are being offered a third primary dose instead of a booster. All individuals in this group have already been offered an appointment.

Vaccinations for those who are housebound are under way, and teams will contact people prior to coming out to see them in their homes.

Those aged 70 years and over and adults aged 16 years and over who are on the highest risk list –previously known as the shielding list – have now received their appointment details by post (in a blue envelope) for their Covid-19 and flu vaccination.

Those aged 60-69 should receive their letter this week, with clinics for this age group due to start from Sunday, November 14.

If you are in these groups and have not received your letter please call the national Covid-19 Vaccination Helpline on 0800 030 8013.

Meanwhile, a recent amendment to the Green Book, which is the vaccination and immunisation guide for health staff, supports extra flexibility for people to receive boosters after a five-month (22 week) wait from primary dose completion.

This is only possible in a care home setting to enable all residents to be vaccinated in the same session, or where an otherwise eligible individual attends for another reason (for example to receive their flu vaccine).

A further amendment to the Green Book allows for people who are about to receive immunosuppressive treatment to receive their booster after a period of four months (120 days). This is to avoid giving the Booster when the immune system is less able to respond.