Health and care staff in Norfolk and Waveney ramp up Covid-19 booster drive as part of ‘Herculean’ national effort
Health and care staff across Norfolk and Waveney are accelerating the COVID-19 booster drive with additional appointments and extended opening hours at vaccination sites as part of the national effort in response to the new Omicron variant.
In response to the threat of the new variant, many vaccination sites across Norfolk and Waveney are operating 12 hours a day, seven days a week, with more existing vaccination sites set to join them.
Thousands more local appointments have already been added to the national booking system and many more will be added over the coming days.
Health and social care organisations with support from local authority and wider partners are pulling out all the stops to offer booster vaccinations to everyone aged 18 and over by the end of this month.
GP teams are also freeing up capacity to support the booster programme, alongside delivering critical appointments such as cancer, urgent and emergency care. Some health and care staff will be redeployed so that they can focus on protecting local people as quickly as possible.
We’d urge everyone to be patient and respectful to all NHS staff while the COVID-19 vaccination programme continues at pace. Health and care staff will continue to make appropriate clinical decisions on how and when people are seen.
While the NHS will be accelerating the speed and scale of the booster programme to all those 18 and over with the online system opening from tomorrow, those at greatest risk continue to be prioritised, including those who are housebound and those who are immunosuppressed.
Local GP practices and our roving vaccination teams are working incredibly hard to get to all of their eligible housebound patients as quickly as they can. We have increased the number of teams out on the road so we can do more home visits and provide more boosters more quickly, with additional teams set to deliver vaccines from next week.
If you are normally housebound but are able to get to a vaccination site for a booked appointment with help from a family member or friend, please do consider this option. Community transport options are also available to support people in getting to
a vaccination site. Housebound patients still waiting for a vaccine have not been forgotten – they will get their booster vaccination as soon as possible.
Howard Martin, Director of Population Health Management and Health Inequalities at NHS Norfolk and Waveney Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) said: “Our vaccination teams, staff and volunteers are going above and beyond to support the vaccination effort. This is a huge and complex challenge but our incredible NHS staff and volunteers – as they have throughout the pandemic – are doing all they can to ensure we get lifesaving boosters into the arms of local people as soon as possible.
“All health and care organisations are redeploying staff and resources to help meet this challenge, with an army of marshalls, administrators and vaccinators being recruited to support the next and most ambitious phase of this programme.
“We continue to urge everyone to come forward and book their booster as soon as they are eligible. Vaccination is clinically-proven to reduce your risk of getting seriously ill from COVID-19 and your risk of catching or spreading coronavirus. So, when it’s your turn to be invited to book your vaccine or booster, please do so.”
Notes to Editors
Boosters are currently being provided through pre-booked appointments only and can be booked through the national booking service by visiting https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19
More trained reservists and local volunteers are being urged to step forward to bolster the vaccine programme. You can support your local NHS, neighbours and communities by:
Registering as an NHS reservist (paid sessions) – we are currently seeking Registered Vaccinators, Unregistered Vaccinators (clinical professionals whose registration may have lapsed) and Corporate and Clinical Administrators - visit https://wecaretogethernw.co.uk/your-career/job-opportunities/
Registering to become an NHS Volunteer Responder with the Royal Voluntary Service online at www.nhsvolunteerresponders.org.uk/i-want-to-volunteer/volunteer-roles
Health and care leaders are requesting the patience and support of local people so we can make sure the most vulnerable get protected first, before we invite younger groups to come forward.
Please be kind to our staff – we understand that people want to get a vaccine as soon as possible but our staff can only vaccinate those who are currently eligible.
Those currently eligible for booster vaccinations, three months after their second dose are:
- Those aged 30+
- Those aged 18+ (from tomorrow, Wednesday 15 December)
- People who live and work in care homes
- Frontline health and care workers
- Clinically extremely vulnerable patients, and those who are their main carers
- Those aged over 16 who live with someone who is immunosuppressed
We will publicise any changes to eligibility criteria through local NHS Facebook and Twitter feeds and local media outlets. Please keep checking the Norfolk and Waveney CCG website for the latest information.
First, second and booster vaccination 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, those seeking a first, second or third primary dose can still get a walk in vaccination with no appointment at certain sites. Search here: https://apps.norfolk.gov.uk/WalkIn/
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. 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: www.norfolkandwaveneyccg.nhs.uk/vaccinations/covid-19-vaccines
Remember, the COVID-19 vaccine is free of charge on the NHS.
The NHS will never ask for:
- Your bank account or card details
- Your pin or banking password
- Copies of personal documents to prove your identity such as your passport, driving licence, bills or pay slips
Text messages will be sent using the Government’s secure Notify service and show as being sent from NHSvaccine. You can trust your text message is genuine if it comes from ‘NHSvaccine’, includes a link to the NHS.uk website and gives you the option of phoning 119.