At risk groups urged to come forwards for their covid autumn booster

With the rollout of the covid autumn booster scheduled to end in about a month’s time, the NHS in Lincolnshire is strongly urging anyone eligible to come forwards as soon as possible for their autumn booster, particularly those people deemed ‘at risk’.

At risk essentially covers a list of diseases, disorders and conditions which, if you have one or more of them, will mean you are at high risk of severe illness as a result of covid.

“And the fact that people in these at risk groups are more likely to become severely ill as a result of covid is why we are especially keen to see them,” comments Karen Hewinson, Head of Clinical Services, Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust.

Previously people defined as clinically extremely vulnerable were considered to be at high risk of severe illness as a result of covid, and the end of last year the list (which is available in the NHS Green Book, Chapter 14, p19-20) was updated following the recognition of pregnancy as a risk factor for severe covid infection.

However, as well as pregnancy, the complete list highlights a number of clinical risk groups including respiratory disease, heart and vascular disease, kidney disease, liver disease, neurological disease, diabetes, immunosuppression, asplenia or dysfunction of the spleen, morbid obesity, severe mental illness, and younger adults in long-stay nursing and residential care.

“So, whilst we still want to see anyone aged 50 and over, we are very keen to see children and adults aged 5-49 who are in one or more of these at risk groups or who are household contacts of someone with immunosuppression, plus carers aged 16-49, and frontline health and social care workers.

“Picking up specifically on people who are household contacts or carers, it is equally vital for these people to get their covid autumn booster because they are either in contact with someone who could become very ill if they have covid and/or because they provide care to people who are deemed at risk,” explains Karen. 

Appointments for the covid autumn booster can be booked online using the National Booking System or by calling 119.  There is a list of scheduled vaccination clinics being held at the county’s two Mass Vaccination Centres at PRSA, Boston, and the Weighing Rooms, Lincoln, that you can book an appointment at available at Vaccination schedule – Mass Vaccination Centres – Lincolnshire ICB.

Alternatively, it is possible to have your autumn booster on a walk-in basis, provided you are 50 or over, at either PRSA, Boston or at the Weighing Rooms, Lincoln, see more information about the days and times walk-ins are available.

In addition, the vaccination centre at the Meres (Table Tennis Club), Grantham, will be offering covid autumn booster walk-ins for people aged 50 or over on Sunday 20th November, Sunday 4th December, and Sunday 11th December, between 9.30am-12.30pm. 

You can also visit the national walk-in site to find local vaccination centres around the country that are offering walk-ins.

“Remember that the covid autumn booster programme is scheduled to end next month, so if you’re not one of the 271,179 people in Lincolnshire (as of 14th November) that have already had their autumn booster but you want to have one, please come and see us now – we have good availability for both appointments and walk-ins and would be really pleased to see you,” concludes Karen.

It’s also important to get your flu jab if you’re eligible – if you are aged 50 and over, have certain health conditions, are pregnant, in long-stay residential care, or in receipt of a carer’s allowance or are the main carer for an older or disabled person who may be at risk if you get sick, or you live with someone more likely to get a severe infection due to a weakened immune system.

Many of the GP and community pharmacy-run covid vaccination sites around the county are offering people the opportunity to get their flu jab at the same time as their covid autumn booster, although the Meres Vaccination Centre, Grantham, the Weighing Rooms, Lincoln, and PRSA, Boston, are not and are only offering covid vaccinations. 

Published 18/11/2022