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Booster jabs encouraged before Christmas

Sheffield's Director of Public Health emphasises importance of 'top up' jabs, as central government urges eligible people to get booster before 11 December.

Steven cornfield j WPNY Zd Gz78 unsplash
Steven Cornfield (Unsplash)

Sheffield's Director of Public Health has urged fully vaccinated people to get their 'booster' Covid-19 jab if they are invited by their GP or the NHS national booking service.

In a report to Sheffield Council this week, Greg Fell said that "waning immunity" in older adults in the city is problematic, especially for those over 60. By way of example, he noted that the booster jab programme was "far more clinically important" than first-time vaccinations for children aged 12-15, except for those who are "immune compromised."

Fell said that almost 70% of the eligible population in Sheffield (12 years and above) are fully vaccinated against Covid-19 and that case rates have been falling slowly in recent weeks. Most local cases are amongst secondary school aged children, which he observed is to be expected.

The infection rate among 60+ age groups is at its highest since January, but these case rates have already started to decrease due to the impact of booster jabs, he told the Council.

The booster vaccination programme for Covid-19 was launched in September to restore the immunity of many who had their initial vaccinations nearly a year ago. Booster jabs will be offered to the same priority groups as the first Covid-19 dose.

Everyone aged 40 and over, the clinically extremely vulnerable and frontline health and care workers are eligible. Everyone eligible will be invited by their GP or the National Booking Service. About 16 million people have now had the booster jab across the UK.

Boosters are effective for 'topping up' existing protection against Covid-19 for people who’ve had both their first and second dose, when it’s been at least six months since their second.

Central government is urging everyone who is eligible and invited to book a booster jab before 11 December to ensure they have “very high protection against Covid-19 by Christmas Day”.

Infection rates across Europe have been increasing rapidly in recent weeks and many countries have reintroduced lockdown measures, so both booster jabs and first-time jabs could prove critical to the ability of people in Sheffield to mix with friends and loved ones next month.

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