People aged over 50 in Milton Keynes can now book their Covid booster jab, health chiefs announced today.
In line with JCVI advice, they will receive either one dose of the Pfizer vaccine or half a dose of the Moderna vaccine.
To be eligible for the top-up, at least six months must have passed since you received your last Covid vaccine.
Other eligible groups for the first wave of the booster programme include people living in residential care homes for older adults, frontline health and social care workers, people aged 16 to 49 years with underlying health conditions that put them at higher risk of severe Covid, adult carers and adult household contacts of immunosuppressed individuals.
Milton Keynes and other local NHS areas will be prioritising care home residents and staff to ensure they are offered a vaccine by the beginning of November.
The booster roll out is in line with new advice set out by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) on Tuesday September 14.
People do not need to contact the NHS to arrange their booster vaccine. The NHS will be in touch when they become eligible for the jab.
They will get a call or text from their local GP-led site to get the jab, or will be invited by the National Booking Service
Hospital hubs have started vaccinating frontline health and care workers as well as identifying other eligible patients for their booster vaccine immediately, with GP-led local vaccination services to follow in the coming days.
Arthur Simper, 87, and his wife Barbara, 83 who were the first patients in the East of England to receive a Covid jab back in December 2020 at Milton Keynes University Hospital. This week they received their booster vaccines.
Barbara said: “We both received our booster vaccines at Saxon Court in Milton Keynes yesterday, and it was completely painless, the process was so smooth and the staff were lovely!
“We think everyone who is invited for their booster jab should go and get it done as soon as possible – we all care about protecting our family, friends and loved ones and it’s the best thing you can do to protect them from Covid.”
The full vaccination rollout began this week, with more vaccination centres and community pharmacy-led sites come online following final checks to give people further protection from the virus ahead of winter.
Local areas have already been identifying and vaccinating people aged 12 and over who are immunosuppressed with a third jab following updated guidance from the JCVI in early September.
The booster programme will be delivered through existing vaccination sites including pharmacies, hospital hubs, GP practices and vaccine centres.
Catherine O’Connell, director of commissioning and executive lead for the vaccination programme for NHS England and NHS Improvement East of England, said: “Our hardworking staff have been gearing up to deliver the autumn booster programme, to give further protection to healthcare and social care workers and those most at risk from the virus.
“Now that the advice has been set out by the JCVI and once the relevant checks are in place, the NHS will invite you for your booster vaccination if you are eligible. There is no need to contact the NHS – we will be in touch with you when it is your turn to get your booster vaccine – at least six months on since your last dose.
“The fast preparations of staff to get ready for boosters comes on the back of our biggest vaccination drive in health history which has delivered more than 9.2 million vaccinations across the east of England.
“Getting the vaccine remains the best way to protect yourself and those around you from Covid – so please do come forward for this top up of protection when you are invited.”
Over 2,000 sites have taken part in the largest vaccination programme in NHS history since it launched including mosques, cinemas, and sports grounds.
Latest statistics published by Public Health England show the impact of the largest ever NHS vaccination programme with around 112,000 lives saved thanks to the programme.