Boost the fight against Covid

By Dr Niruban Ratnarajah

5/10/21

Older people have been busy getting their Covid-19 booster jabs.

The programme to make sure that everyone (who is eligible) gets a third dose of the vaccine has started in earnest in Bolton.

Booster jabs are available to: anyone over 50; people who live or work in care homes; frontline health and social care workers; and over-16s who are carers, or have health conditions that put them at high risk of becoming seriously ill from Covid or who live with someone who is more likely to catch infections.

It’s worth bearing in mind that, like the very first Covid jabs, eligible patients are being contacted by the NHS in priority order - so please don’t ring your GP practice.

Most vaccination sites in Bolton are giving booster jabs by appointment only, with a couple running walk-in clinics for eligible people. You can also book on the national booking system to get the jab at sites such as some local pharmacies.

In most cases, the minimum gap between the second and booster jab is six months. However, people who are severely immunosuppressed should get their third dose eight weeks after their second.

While I’m encouraged at the response to the booster jab, we really need people at the other end of the age spectrum to get their first jab!

Take-up is not as high and to some extent, this may not be a surprise. The risk of dying or becoming seriously unwell from Covid increases with age, and some young people mistakenly believe that they will be ‘all right’ if they catch the virus.

Others may believe the false information about Covid and vaccinations on social media sites.

This would be a mistake, as young people too are ending up in hospital with Covid. Even if they don’t become seriously ill, many are suffering the effects of long-Covid which may be with them for a long time.

And, of course, if they are not vaccinated they risk spreading the virus to elderly or vulnerable loved ones.

I would urge them to get their information about Covid from trusted sources.

If we want to keep everyone safe, we need everyone - including younger people - to get vaccinated.

 

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