The capital’s top doctor is urging the most vulnerable Londoners to book their COVID-19 Spring booster vaccination this month, to reduce the risk of falling seriously ill.
The renewed appeal comes nearly two months after the NHS began the latest phase of its COVID vaccination programme, offering people aged 75 and over, older adult care home residents and those who are immunosuppressed another booster dose of the vaccine.
Medical Director for the NHS in London, Dr Chris Streather said: “The beginning of summer is just around the corner and we know this tends to be a period of increased social engagement, so it is indeed a good time to remind those Londoners who are most susceptible to COVID-19 to ensure they get their Spring booster to stay protected.
“The number of eligible Londoners who’ve already had their Spring booster is encouraging, but it is important that we do not become complacent as the disease hasn’t vanished – it’s still circulating in our communities.
“If you are a family member, friend or carer of someone who is eligible for the Spring booster, I would encourage you to help ensure their appointment is booked and they receive their latest jab as soon as possible.”
Dr Salman Waqar, GP and Vice President of the British Islamic Medical Association, said: “As we continue to learn to live with COVID, it’s equally important that we retain good practices, taking all reasonable steps to protect our health so we can carry on with our lives, doing what we love.
“For the most vulnerable among us including older people and those with a weakened immune system, this means they may need extra protection from the COVID-19 Spring booster vaccine. I am also acutely aware uptake of the vaccine is lower in some communities including people of Pakistani and Bangladeshi heritage so I strongly advise people to get vaccinated against COVID – whether they need a first, second or booster dose.”
Dr Tony Burch, Trustee Age UK London said: “We would urge all older Londoners who are eligible to take up the offer of a COVID-19 Spring booster vaccine, particularly those from traditionally underserved communities to ensure they have the maximum possible level of protection as we go into the summer and beyond.
“If you have any questions, we encourage you to contact your GP or go to a walk-in clinic where you can get advice and find out all you need to know.”
Anthony Cunliffe, GP and Clinical Adviser for Macmillan Cancer Support said: “Getting a COVID-19 booster can be life-changing for immunocompromised people living with cancer, providing individuals with increased protection from the virus and reducing their risk of being admitted to hospital. We’d encourage all those eligible to book their spring booster as soon as possible.
“Your GP or organisations like Macmillan can help if you have any questions or concerns.”
Spring booster jab appointments can be booked quickly and conveniently via the NHS Booking Service or phoning 119. Londoners can also find their nearest walk-in clinics, at convenient locations nearby places of worship, community centres and local pharmacies.
Recent research from the UK Health Security agency showed that the NHS booster programme has helped prevent around 186,000 hospitalisations since mid-December.