PEOPLE living in Lancashire will soon be among the first in the world to receive the new Covid-19 variant jab when the autumn booster vaccine programme begins in early September.
Set to start during the week of September 5, NHS staff will begin vaccinating care home residents and people who are housebound.
The NHS will offer people the new next-generation bivalent vaccine where appropriate and subject to sufficient supply being made available.
The National Booking Service will also open that week ahead of the wider rollout, due to start on September 12, with the NHS inviting those who are most susceptible to serious illness from Covid-19 and those aged 75 and over to book an appointment from that week.
Jane Scattergood, lead for the vaccination programme in Lancashire and South Cumbria, said: “I would urge everyone who is eligible to get this vaccine as soon as they possibly can. The world has moved forward but Covid-19 is still a horrible virus that can make you seriously ill. The best way to protect yourself is to get every vaccine that is offered to you.”
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.
More than four in five eligible people received a spring booster earlier this year and the NHS urged those people to get that dose before the end of July in order to ensure enough time had passed to optimise the protection an autumn booster would provide over the winter period.
Health experts have stressed that the original vaccines also continue to provide great protection and people should come forward regardless of the vaccine offered.
The NHS will also roll out the flu vaccine and encourage eligible people to take up the offer from the first of the month where possible.
Eligible people may be offered the flu and Covid-19 jab at the same time, with the doses approved to be co-administered.
Health and social care staff will also be eligible to get the autumn booster in line with JCVI guidance and in order to ensure NHS staff are protected, all providers are being asked to ensure their staff are offered the autumn jab, co-administering with the flu jab where possible.