Autumn COVID boosters to be rolled out across Bedford

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COVID-19 vaccination boosters are due to be rolled out across Bedford from next week in line with autumn boosters being offered across the county.

The life-saving booster jab will be available from 5 September for those people who are most at risk from COVID-19.

This is those aged 50 and over, as well as those who are at highest risk from a serious illness such as pregnant women and people with long-term health conditions.

Frontline health and social care workers will also be offered the booster.

People who are eligible will be contacted to ask if they would like to receive the booster through an appointment made online or by calling 119.

Those in care homes will receive the booster first, followed by those aged over 75 or clinically extremely vulnerable.

The offer will then be opened up to the remaining eligible groups. The NHS is asking everyone to wait to be contacted before attempting to make an appointment.

Wait to be contacted

Craig Lister, Associate Director and the COVID and Flu immunisation and vaccination strategy lead for Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes Integrated Care Board said: “… we hope that, like before, the people of Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes will come forward in their numbers to get vaccinated when it is their turn.

“Similarly, to last time, there are numerous ways that people may be contacted, and this may come from your GP or the NHS nationally, by letter or text message.

“Our request is that you make an appointment to have your COVID booster as soon as you are eligible, and it has been at least 90 days since your last vaccination.”

People will be able to book an appointment for their autumn booster, either online using the National Booking System, which opens next week, offering appointments from 12 September onwards, or by telephoning 119.

You can also book through your GP who may contact you to book directly with them.

“Our advice hasn’t changed,” said Craig. “If you’re eligible you should make an appointment and come forwards for your vaccination as soon as possible.

“Getting vaccinated is still the best way to maximise your protection from COVID and serious illness, hospitalisation or even death.

“We’re expecting case numbers to rise again in the autumn and into the winter, so it really is crucial to get vaccinated when you can.”

As with previous rounds of the COVID vaccination, the NHS in Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes will have vaccination sites around the region, the majority of which will be run by GP practices and community pharmacies, along with pop-up centres publicised on our website.

To find out more about the autumn booster visit the NHS England website.

Flu jabs

Flu vaccines will also be available to everyone aged over 50 from September. These will be available for eligible people to book via their GPs or community pharmacy.

Wherever possible, and subject to eligibility, local people will be offered the flu vaccination at the same time as their booster, as well as other important vaccines such as shingles and pneumonia.

First, second and third booster doses of the COVID vaccination are also still available to anyone who hasn’t already had them.

Everyone aged five and over can get two doses of the COVID vaccination, with people aged 16 and over able to have two doses and a third booster vaccination too.

The NHS in Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes is still running a number of pop-up vaccination sessions, offering the chance to walk in and get vaccinated without an appointment, across the county as listed on their website.

Alternatively, it is possible to book an appointment online using the National Booking System or by calling 119.