VACCINATIONS: Booster jab roll-out continues

 By Lucy Ashton

Advance booking facility for 40-49 year olds.  People aged 40-49 years old will be able to use the NHS Inform online portal or national phoneline to book their COVID-19 booster appointments from today.

Appointments will be available from 30 November and the booking must be at least 24 weeks after the second dose.

16 and 17 year olds can use the portal from Tuesday 30 November to book a slot for their second dose of the vaccine as long as 12 weeks have passed since the first dose. However, anyone with a confirmed case of the virus since the first dose should wait for 12 weeks after that.

The portal is already open for the 50 – 59 age group, unpaid carers who are 16 and over, and those aged 16 and over who are household contacts of immunosuppressed individuals while anyone in earlier groups who missed an appointment can also book online. As the portal is now being opened to even more cohorts, 50-59-year-olds who have not yet received their booster, will be contacted shortly to invite them to make a booking as soon as possible via the portal or national phoneline.

Health Secretary Humza Yousaf said: “We have now delivered more than 1.5 million boosters and third doses and the excellent progress with the Autumn/Winter vaccination programme now allows us to invite people aged 40 – 49 to book online.

“Boosters are just as important as the initial vaccinations. Six months after the second dose, immunity levels wane with increasing risk of further infection. The booster dose improves your level of protection significantly and is the best way to protect your health and those around you. We encourage all those eligible to arrange their appointment via the portal or phoneline for 24 weeks after their second dose.

“I am pleased that, from Tuesday, 16 and 17 year olds can also use the portal to book their second dose. The portal will be in use for people in almost all health board areas but those in areas where that is not the case, people will be contacted directly by their local board with details of their appointment.

“We aim to vaccinate people as quickly as possible in line with clinical guidance and over the course of the Autumn/Winter vaccination programme, we will see up to 7.5 million flu and COVID-19 booster vaccinations administered.

“While vaccination is the bedrock of our fight against COVID-19, we encourage everyone to follow mitigations such as regular testing, particularly before socialising and meeting up with others people from outside your household, wearing face marks where required and opening windows to improve ventilation.”

Meanwhile, it has been announced, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde has hit a significant milestone in its fight against COVID-19, after announcing 2,000,000 doses of the vaccination have been administered to people living in the area.

The figures show a sizable uptake in first, second, third and booster jabs across the Health Board, with people from all local communities coming forward in their numbers to protect themselves and others from COVID-19.

The welcome news comes as dedicated frontline staff continue to tackle the challenges of the pandemic, as we head into the traditionally busy winter months for the healthcare system.

Dr de Caestecker said: “We would like to pay huge thanks to everyone who has come forward to roll up their sleeves in Greater Glasgow and Clyde so far, we are proud to have reached this sizable milestone ahead of the winter months, which can often bring added pressures for our hard working and dedicated staff.

“By getting your COVID-19 vaccination you’re helping to protect yourself, your community and your loved ones. This landmark figure could not have been achieved without the residents of Greater Glasgow and Clyde’s commitment to caring for each other or without the help of healthcare professionals, teams and volunteers from across NHSGGC and our partner local authorities.”

NHSGGC strongly encourages everyone to take up the opportunity to be vaccinated and to accept the COVID-19 booster jab if eligible.

People who are eligible for a vaccination, that the national helpline is available on 0800 030 8013 and the appointments portal is also available on the NHS Inform website, for those who wish to book their vaccination at a time and place of their choosing.

The portal is currently open to people aged 50 and over and will be opening to those eligible aged 40 to 49 in the coming days.

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