Following the Prime Minister’s announcement on Sunday that everyone aged 18 and over will have the opportunity to book a COVID booster by the end of December, the NHS in Lincolnshire is pulling out all the stops to enable eligible people in the county to take up this offer.
“It is literally all hands on deck and we are working at pace through the huge operational challenges this presents,” explains Rebecca Neno, Director of COVID and Influenza Vaccination Programmes, NHS Lincolnshire. “However, as with each previous stage of the vaccination rollout, I am confident that we will rise to the challenge.”
Whilst the NHS in Lincolnshire is already offering booster vaccinations to people aged 40 and over – who can book online via the National Booking System or by calling 119, or alternatively can present as a walk-in on a ‘first come, first served’ basis at either of the county’s two Mass Vaccination Centres at PRSA, Boston, and the Lincolnshire Showground – people are being asked to be patient whilst the NHS locally plans how it will meet this significant request.
“This will be a colossal undertaking for our teams across the county – to give some context, essentially we have to take our busiest day to-date, in terms of the number of vaccinations given, and then increase it by fifty percent every single day in December, to meet the target of offering a booster to all adults by the end of this month,” adds Rebecca.
“But at the same time, our message to people hasn’t changed – as soon as you are called or invited for your booster vaccination, please come forwards and book an appointment online via the National Booking System or by telephoning 119 as soon as possible. We know that the booking system is in high demand, but we also know that thousands of people are successfully booking their booster every day using it. Please keep trying.
“If you are aged 18-29 and not in a high risk group, you won’t be able to book an appointment just yet, but this will change in the next couple of days. If you are 30 or over, and it’s at least two months since your second dose, you will be able to book now for a booster at three months after your second dose.”
Three doses of the COVID vaccine are far more effective against Omicron than just two, and the significantly greater transmission of this latest variant is what is driving the sudden push for everyone to ‘get boosted’.
“There is no doubt the threat posed by Omicron is very serious and that is why people should have their booster vaccination, which does significantly increase protection against Omicron, as soon as possible. It’s also important that people do not panic, we will ensure that everyone who wants to get a booster vaccination has the opportunity,” concludes Rebecca.