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Covid and Flu Vaccination Programmes Brought Forward in Lincolnshire

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‍People in Lincolnshire are being advised to take up the offer of a Covid Booster jab when offered.

People in Lincolnshire including in Skegness, Boston, Lincoln, Grantham, Scunthorpe, and Grimsby are being advised to take up the offer of a Covid booster jab when offered. According to official reports, only 71.2% of people in Skegness have had the 3rd booster jab

 

The NHS Lincolnshire Integrated Care Board has made the decision to bring forward the adult covid vaccination programme in Lincolnshire. Originally scheduled to start in October 2023, the programme will now begin earlier, with residents of care homes and housebound individuals being vaccinated from September 11. This change aligns the covid vaccination programme with the flu vaccination programme, ensuring that both vaccines are administered in a timely manner.

 

Precautionary Measures

The decision to bring forward the covid vaccination programme is a precautionary measure in response to the announcement made by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) and the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA). These organizations have requested that the NHS take pre-emptive measures to protect the population against the ongoing threat of covid.

Julie Humphreys, Head of Clinical Services at Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust, stated, “With this in mind, nationally the NHS has been asked to bring the vaccination programme forward and we will be working quickly to ensure as many eligible people as possible are vaccinated by the end of October.”

 

Read:How To Protect Yourself Against Covid

 

Vaccination Schedule

The vaccination programme will begin by prioritizing the vaccination of residents in care homes starting from September 11. From September 19, individuals who are most at risk, including those who are immunosuppressed, will also receive their vaccinations. Following this, the programme will expand to include adults aged 65 and over, carers, pregnant women, and front-line health and social care staff.

Eligible individuals will receive an invitation from their local GP practice or can book an appointment for their covid vaccination online using the National Booking Service or by calling 119. Front-line health and social care workers will receive vaccine invitations through their employers.

 

Accessing Vaccinations

For individuals whose GP practices are not offering covid vaccinations, alternative options are available. A dedicated telephone line has been set up for booking appointments at local outreach vaccination clinics. Individuals can call 01522 301940 to book their covid vaccination appointments. The outreach clinics will be particularly beneficial for patients at GP practices such as Old Leake Medical Centre, Merton Lodge Surgery, Stickney Surgery, and Spilsby Surgery, as it will reduce travel distances for them.

It is important to note that individuals can still use the National Booking Service or call 119 to book their appointments if their GP practice does not offer covid vaccinations. Additionally, when using these services, individuals may have the option to book their flu vaccination at the same time.

 

Dual Protection: Flu and Covid Vaccinations

The aim of the vaccination programme is to provide vital protection from both flu and covid during the winter months. This will help prevent the development of serious illnesses and minimize hospitalizations during the busy winter period. Individuals aged 65 and over are eligible to receive both a covid and a flu vaccination this winter.

If individuals have already booked an appointment for their flu vaccination with their GP practice, that appointment will proceed as scheduled. While it is encouraged to have both vaccinations together for maximum protection, it is understood that some individuals may prefer to receive their vaccinations separately. The important thing is to receive both vaccinations if eligible and to do so as soon as possible.

 

Role of GP Practices and Vaccination Centres

GP practices will play a key role in administering the vaccinations, similar to previous rounds of the covid vaccination programme. In addition to GP practices, Lincolnshire will also have a dedicated vaccination centre in Lincoln. Furthermore, local community pharmacies will be able to offer both covid and flu vaccinations. Appointments at community pharmacies can be booked using the National Booking Service.

 

Flu Vaccinations for Children

Flu vaccinations for children will continue to be offered in schools from early September. This measure aims to prevent children from developing serious illnesses and reduce the transmission of the virus within the wider population. The nasal flu vaccine is the most effective option for children aged 2-17 years. However, if the nasal vaccine is not suitable, GP practices may offer a flu vaccine injection as an alternative.

 

Eligibility for Autumn Vaccinations

The following groups are eligible for the autumn covid vaccination:

 

    Residents in a care home for older adults

    All adults aged 65 years and over

    Individuals aged 6 months to 64 years in a clinical risk group, as outlined in the Immunisation Green Book

    Front-line health and social care workers

    Individuals aged 12 to 64 years who are household contacts of people with immunosuppression

    Individuals aged 16 to 64 years who are carers and staff working in care homes for older adults

 

In accordance with the advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation, the following groups are eligible for a flu vaccine this year:

 

    Individuals aged 65 years and over

    Individuals aged 6 months to under 65 years in clinical risk groups

    Pregnant women

    Children aged 2 or 3 years on August 31, 2023

    School-aged children (Reception to Year 11)

    Individuals in long-stay residential care homes

    Carers in receipt of carer’s allowance or those who are the main carers of elderly or disabled individuals

    Close contacts of immunocompromised individuals

    Frontline workers in social care settings without an employer-led occupational health scheme

 

The decision to bring forward the covid vaccination programme in Lincolnshire is a precautionary measure to protect the population against the ongoing threat of covid. By aligning the covid vaccination programme with the flu vaccination programme, the NHS aims to ensure that eligible individuals receive both vaccinations in a timely manner. GP practices, vaccination centres, and community pharmacies will play a crucial role in administering the vaccines. Eligible individuals are encouraged to book their appointments through their GP practice, the National Booking Service, or by calling 119. By taking these proactive measures, Lincolnshire aims to provide vital protection from both flu and covid during the winter months, minimizing the impact of serious illnesses and reducing hospitalizations.

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