Time for booster if you were vaccinated before Easter, say health bosses

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Bedfordians who had their COVID vaccine before Easter are being urged to get their booster by health bosses at Bedfordshire Luton and Milton Clinical Commissioning Group (BLMK CCG).

Thousands of people have already been invited by text, email and letter across the area, encouraging them to book their booster jab through the national booking service.

Now BLMK CCG has confirmed that if a second COVID-19 vaccination was before 24 March 2021 you can receive a booster at any of the pharmacies listed on the walk-in page of the BLMK website.

Vicky Head, Director of Public Health Bedford Borough, Central Bedfordshire and Milton Keynes Councils added: “Rates of COVID-19 infection across BLMK are high and continuing to rise.

“The vaccinations are doing a fantastic job of preventing severe illness and death from COVID-19, but we know that protection from the vaccine does drop over time.

“The booster vaccination gives those of us at greatest risk vital extra protection.”

The news comes as Manton Lane vaccine centre in Bedford announces they’ll be open from 8am to 8pm all next week from 1 November with children being seen between 4pm and 8pm and adult boosters 9am to 3pm.

Are you eligible for a booster?

To check if you are eligible for a booster, download the NHS App which has all your vaccination dates logged and will tell you if you had your jab before 24 March 2021.

Additionally, you must be over 50, a frontline health and social care worker, aged 16 – 49 with underlying health conditions and adult carers, or are an adult living in a household with someone who is immunosuppressed.

You will need to bring proof of eligibility (invite from NHS, a letter from an employer, or confirmation from GP) together with proof of the date of your second vaccination.

If you don’t have these, you will be turned away until proof can be checked.

The booster is an important part of the vaccination process and will mean that immunity will be increased and last longer, protecting the individual and increasing protection for the wider community.

Geraint Davies, Senior Responsible Officer for the Vaccination Programme, from Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes Clinical Commissioning Group added, “it is essential that everyone has their booster. This is to make sure that your immunity is protected.

“It also helps to protect against any new variants that may appear.”

Update: This story was updated on 27 October 2021 at 10:03 am. We added children and adult booster timings to the paragraph about the Manton Lane vaccine centre.

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