With Christmas just 24 sleeps away, eligible people in Leeds are being urged to get their booster jab to keep them and others safe during the festivities.
Health leaders estimate that around 7 in 10 eligible people in West Yorkshire have now had the vital top-up jab but are urging those who have not yet come forward to do so as soon as possible. Most will also be eligible for a free flu jab and with experts concerned about a possible ‘twindemic’ of COVID and flu this winter, people are being encouraged to double their defences by getting both vaccines.
Sam Prince, who leads the vaccination programme in Leeds, said: “It might not be top of your Christmas wish-list but the vaccinations are the best present you could give yourself and those you care about. COVID is still circulating and making people seriously unwell and we are expecting infection rates to rise again in the New Year.
“Similarly, flu cases are on the rise and can be very dangerous for people in the at risk groups. Getting your jabs now will mean you are protected in time for socialising with family and friends over the festive period, when viruses like COVID and flu can spread most easily.”
Everyone aged 50 and over, or who has a condition that puts them at greater risk from COVID-19 is eligible for the booster jab to keep their immunity as high as possible this winter. This includes people with weakened immune systems, learning disabilities and pregnant women. Frontline health and care workers and unpaid carers are also eligible and being urged to protect themselves and those they care for by getting their booster and flu jabs.
Ms Prince added: “We have a large number of walk-in and pop-up clinics available to make it as easy as possible for you to get your booster – or your first or second dose if you have not yet been vaccinated – so please call in and get protected as soon as you can.”
Anyone eligible for a booster can book an appointment on the National Booking Service at www.nhs.uk/covidvaccine or by calling 119 free of charge. Or people can search for walk-in clinics near them at www.healthandcareleeds.org/walkinclinics/.
Flu jabs are being offered to eligible people by their GP or are available at many local pharmacists.
Notes to editors
- Information on who is eligible for a free flu vaccine and how to get one is available at www.nhs.uk/wintervaccinations