NHS urges those who had COVID at the start of the year to get boosted without delay

The NHS in Sussex is reminding people who had COVID-19 over Christmas and New Year to get boosted now if they haven’t already done so.

In December, more than four million people in England tested positive for COVID and would have been unable to get their vaccine for at least 28 days, in line with Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) guidance.

New NHS data shows there are people who are overdue their booster by six weeks or more.

At the same time, the latest data from the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) shows shortly after getting a booster, you are 85% less likely to end up in hospital than if you are unvaccinated.

The leading doctor within the Sussex COVID-19 Vaccination Programme is now urging people to come forward for the best protection from the virus.

Dr Hannah Davies, Clinical Lead for the Sussex COVID-19 Vaccination Programme, said:

“If you were one of the people who tested positive in December and January, and were unable to get your booster, it is time to come forward for that vital vaccination 28 days on from catching COVID.

“We know there are people who are overdue their booster, and while some had to delay because of a coronavirus infection it is still absolutely crucial that people get their booster in order to increase their protection to reinfection and the dangers of long COVID.

“Vaccination provides the best protection for you and your loved ones against coronavirus, so I urge anyone yet to come forward for their booster – or their first or second dose – and get protected now”.

People can also book their appointment online through the national booking service or by calling 119.

In line with JCVI guidance, the NHS cannot vaccinate people aged 18 and over within four weeks of a positive COVID-19 test, and 12 to 17-year-olds must wait 12 weeks (84 days) after a positive COVID-19 test.

Those aged 12 to 17 and considered at high risk from COVID-19 must wait four weeks (28 days) from the date of a positive COVID-19 test before getting any dose of the vaccine.

This starts from the date you had symptoms, or the date of the positive test if you did not have any symptoms.

Read more about the Sussex COVID-19 Vaccination Programme: COVID-19 vaccinations – Sussex Health & Care Partnership (sussexhealthandcare.uk)