The lifesaving autumn booster rollout kicks off in care homes across the East Midlands today, as the NHS COVID-19 vaccination programme moves to the next phase.
From Wednesday, over two million people in the East Midlands, including people aged 75 and over, people who are immunosuppressed and health and care workers will be able to book in online or by calling 119.
Millions of invitations will be landing on doormats across the region from Wednesday 7 September inviting people to book their appointment for the following week without delay.
The NHS will contact people when it is their turn to book in for the vaccine – you do not need to contact the NHS.
Around 200 care homes across the Midlands will be visited by vaccinating teams this week with residents and staff set to receive the new variant-tackling jab.
As part of the fastest and largest vaccine drive in NHS history, around 260 sites in the East Midlands are expected to be part of the rollout, including GP practices and community pharmacies, with new sites joining the programme all the time.
More than 10 million COVID-19 vaccines have been administered in the East Midlands since the NHS made history when the first COVID-19 jab was delivered outside of clinical trials to Maggie Keenan in Coventry in December 2020.
The autumn booster campaign is among a package of NHS measures to prepare for winter as the health service continues to face record demand on its urgent and emergency care services, including by ramping up bed capacity, increasing the number of 999 and NHS 111 staff, and working with colleagues in social care to ensure patients can be discharged in a timely manner.
Roz Lindridge, Director of Commissioning at NHS England and NHS Improvement in the Midlands, said:
“Ahead of winter Autumn boosters are vital in helping to top up the immunity of the elderly and the most vulnerable across the Midlands to ensure they are protected from the dangers of COVID-19.
“We have already protected millions of people in the region at speed thanks to the efforts of our staff, GPs, pharmacies and volunteers. They will once again rise to the Autumn booster challenge.
“There is no need to contact the NHS – when you are eligible for your ‘Autumn boost’ of protection, we will be in touch so you can book your appointment at one of the many vaccination sites across the region”.
As with previous campaigns, the oldest and most vulnerable will be called forward first, with people able to book in online or through 119 as long as it has been three months since their last dose.
Around 26 million people across England will be eligible for an autumn booster over the comings weeks, which includes over 50s, those with a weakened immune system, health and social care workers and care home residents and housebound people, in line with guidance set out by the JCVI.
The NHS in the East Midlands will also be rolling out the flu vaccine and encouraging eligible people to take up the offer where possible.
Eligible individuals may be offered the flu and COVID jab at the same time subject to supply, with the doses approved to be co-administered.