“Top up your protection ahead of winter” – Local NHS urges those eligible to come forward for COVID boosters

The NHS is calling for people to come forward to boost their immunity this winter.

People who are at greater risk from the virus, including people aged over 50, health and social care workers, those with underlying health conditions and carers are eligible to make sure they are protected ahead of winter.

To receive a booster, you need to be in one of the eligible groups and it must be six months (182 days) from your second vaccination.

So far, vaccination teams have administered 94,000 booster jabs to the community in Sussex.

NHS leaders are encouraging people to come forward as soon as possible to benefit from the extra dose ahead what is expected to be a challenging winter for NHS services.

There are a number of ways to receive your booster if you are in the eligible groups and it is six months from your second vaccine:

  • You will be contacted by the National Booking System by text or letter inviting you to use the website or by calling 119 to arrange an appointment. People are being added each day so please don’t worry if it currently says you are not eligible, please keep trying.
  • You may be contacted by your local GP led service. Some services are not using the National Booking System to arrange their appointments and so may contact you directly.
  • You can attend a walk in session. No need to book an appointment, you can simply turn up. No NHS number or ID is required for the general public, but it does speed things up if you do have your NHS number with you. Health and care workforce are asked to show ID. See the latest sessions here: Walk-in vaccination sessions – Sussex Health & Care Partnership (sussexhealthandcare.uk)

Amy Galea, Senior Responsible Officer for the COVID-19 and Influenza Programme said:

“We are calling for everyone who is eligible to come and top up their protection as soon as they become eligible.

“If it has been six months since your second vaccination, your immunity will be beginning to drop, so it is vital to receive a booster vaccination to maintain the best possible protection and prevent serious illness.

“Our teams of vaccinators and volunteers are ready to administer vital boosters to help you maintain immunity ahead of winter.

“If you’ve been invited but haven’t gotten around to booking your booster yet, don’t delay, book online or attend a drop in session as soon as possible. And as soon as you become eligible, make your plans to have your booster vaccine.”

Sussex residents who have no means to get to their COVID-19 vaccination appointment are able to book a free return journey to help them attend.

To book free travel please book your vaccination appointment or have confirmed plans to attend a walk-in session first, then call 01444 275 008 to speak to a travel coordinator. The booking service is available between 10:00-13:00 and 14:00-17:00 Monday to Friday.

Vaccination centres in Sussex are continuing to administer first and second dose vaccinations to anyone over 16 who still needs one as part of the ‘evergreen’ offer, which means it’s never too late to get protected.

Second doses are only given eight weeks after the first dose and anyone eligible for booster must be six months from the date of their second vaccination.