Leeds health chiefs issue ‘don’t delay’ plea for COVID-19 boosters and flu jabs

Eligible people in Leeds are being urged to protect themselves against serious illness this winter by getting both their COVID-19 booster and flu jab as soon as they are invited.

Those most at risk from COVID-19 are being invited for a booster jab six months after they had their second dose. This is to ensure people maintain a high level of protection against the virus, reducing their chance of becoming seriously ill or needing to be admitted to hospital. People will receive an invitation when their booster is due, either from their GP or the NHS National Booking Service.

Experts are also stressing the importance of getting your flu jab, with more people having been added to the eligible groups this year. Due to last year’s lockdown restrictions, this will be the first winter that COVID-19 and flu are circulating fully at the same time and research has shown that people who have both viruses at the same time are more than twice as likely to die as someone with COVID-19 alone.

So the message from local health chiefs is simple: don’t delay, get each jab as soon as it’s offered.

Local Harehills GP, Dr Amal Paul, said: “COVID-19 is still very much here and with winter fast approaching we also have the added threat of flu. These are both very dangerous viruses: we need people to take this seriously and protect themselves and the NHS by getting both their booster and their flu vaccination.

“The risks of death from COVID-19 infection in the unvaccinated ethnic minorities is significantly high, and it is increased further if someone has both flu and covid19 infection. Vaccinations save life.

“It’s safe to have both jabs at the same time but it may not always be possible to get them together so please get each jab as soon as you are invited. The most important thing is that you are protected against these viruses as soon as possible.”

Sam Prince, Senior Responsible Officer for the Vaccination Programme in Leeds, said: “Uptake from people who have been invited for their booster so far has generally been good but we want to remind people how important it is to get protected and encourage them to do this as quickly as possible. Please book your appointment as soon as you get your invitation and help us to keep you and others safe this winter.” 

ENDS

For more information please contact Leeds CCG Comms team email Leedsccg.comms@nhs.net

Notes to editor:

  • Booster vaccine doses are being offered to people most at risk of COVID-19. This includes:
  • People who live and work in care homes.
  • People aged 50 and over.
  • Frontline health and social care workers.
  • People aged 16 and over who are at high risk from COVID-19 (clinically extremely vulnerable).
  • People aged 16 and over with a condition that puts them at higher risk from COVID-19.
  • Unpaid carers aged 16 and over.
  • People aged 16 and over living with someone with a weakened immune system (immunosuppressed).
  • Pregnant women in any of the above eligible groups.
  • To ensure the booster works as well as possible, there needs to be a gap of at least six months between your second dose and your booster. People will receive an invitation when it is their turn, either from their GP or the NHS National Booking Service, which will allow them to book an appointment at their most convenient vaccination centre.

Information on the flu vaccine and who is eligible is available at http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/vaccinations/flu-influenza-vaccine