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Immunosuppressed urged to get their third vaccine as soon as possible

Immunosuppressed people in Norfolk and Waveney are being contacted directly to come forward for their planned third primary dose of COVID-19 vaccine.

The Joint Committee for Vaccinations & Immunisations (JCVI) has recommended that people who were severely immunosuppressed at the time of their first or second vaccination should be offered a third dose eight weeks after their second.

This is an extra ‘top-up’ dose in response to evidence showing that they may not have responded as well to the vaccine as others and will therefore have lower levels of protection against COVID-19. It includes people with leukaemia and advanced HIV and people who have had recent organ transplants.

The primary third dose for this group of patients is different to the six month booster being now offered to people aged 50+, health and care workers and those who are clinically extremely vulnerable.

This week, 11,000 letters have been sent to individuals who have been identified as being immunosuppressed and living in Norfolk and Waveney.  They are being directed to walk-in clinics to receive their third primary dose of vaccine. This means they do not have to wait for their GP practices to contact them.

Letters received this week will be on NHS Norfolk and Waveney CCG letterhead and signed by Howard Martin, Director for Population Health Management and Health Inequalities.

“The third dose will give immunosuppressed people the maximum protection possible against covid infection this winter,” said Howard. He added: “We are writing to people in Norfolk and Waveney who are immunosuppressed inviting them to attend for their third primary vaccination at one of our local walk-in centres. You do not need to pre-book this appointment, but please remember to bring your letter of eligibility with you when you attend our vaccine centres.''

If you have received a letter from the local NHS saying you need a ‘third primary dose’ please go online at https://apps.norfolk.gov.uk/Primary3 to find a list of suitable walk-in clinics.

You should wait eight weeks after your second dose. Please take your letter with you when you attend a walk-in clinic.

Notes to editors:

 

Data released on 14 October by NHS England and Improvement shows that Norfolk and Waveney is continuing to perform strongly in the national vaccination roll out. So far, 93% of people aged 18 and above have had one vaccine, while 89% have had both doses. This compares with national figures of 90% and 85% respectively. The data also shows that more than 22,000 people aged under 18 have already received one dose of the vaccine.

First and second dose vaccine appointments can be booked through the national booking service by visiting nhs.uk/covid-vaccination or telephoning 119. When invited, people can book at one of the vaccination centre, pharmacy or general practice sites that are available through the national booking service. Alternatively, you can visit a walk in centre. To find the latest walk-in vaccine clinics taking place across Norfolk and Waveney, visit: https://apps.norfolk.gov.uk/WalkIn/Form/AllAvailableClinics

You do not have to be registered with a GP or have a NHS number to be vaccinated, but it is not yet possible to book an appointment via the NBS without one. For those not registered with a GP or without an NHS number, a growing number of walk-in and pop-up sites are available. Anyone in the UK can choose to register with a GP.

If you have it, please take with you your NHS number to help the vaccination team book you in quickly (please see here). But don’t worry if you don’t have an NHS number or are not registered with a GP / local doctor, you can still get vaccinated.

You do NOT need to show identification (ID) to receive a COVID-19 vaccination and you do not need to give your full name or address. It does not matter whether you are a UK citizen or what your immigration status is, how long you have been here or how long you expect to stay.

Before your vaccination: Don't forget to keep hydrated (bring some bottled water with you) and have something to eat before you come.

For more information about the vaccination programme and for information about vaccines for children and young people visit: https://www.norfolkandwaveneyccg.nhs.uk/covid/children-and-young-people-12-17-years-covid-19-vaccination

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