Covid booster vaccinations scheme is rolling out at pace

Dora Hunter discusses with Dr Emma Pugh of Thaxted surgery about having the Covid vaccine booster

Dora Hunter discusses with Dr Emma Pugh of Thaxted surgery about having the Covid vaccine booster and prepares to receive it at the Lord Butler Leisure Centre, Saffron Walden - Credit: submitted

Nearly 6,000 booster doses of the Covid vaccine have now been given in North Uttlesford.

Dr Richard Boyce, GP Principal of Gold Street Surgery and the Clinical Director of North Uttlesford Primary Care Network, has praised those who are helping to make the scheme a success.

Patients registered with GP surgeries in Thaxed, Newport, Gold Street and Crocus in Saffron Walden are being contacted directly for appointments at the Lord Butler Leisure Centre in Saffron Walden.

Participants are being offered a flu jab at the same time, where supplies are available.

Dr Boyce said: "The continued goodwill of 1Life, the local council, and the wonderful volunteers who are continuing to turn up and help us out so compassionately have been key in delivering the aim of protecting as many people before the winter as possible."

Dora Hunter, who received the first dose of the vaccine in December 2020 and has now had her booster, has praised the fact that vaccinations are available locally.

She added: "I want as many people as possible to take up the offer if they haven't already."

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Patients are asked not to call their surgery to book their vaccine appointment as they will be contacted directly.

There is also some availability on the National Booking Service each week or through calling 119.

The booster programme is recommended for anyone who is over the age of 50 and where is more than six months since their second Covid vaccination.

Dr Boyce said they are also focused on delivering third doses for those with compromised immune systems where it has been over eight weeks since their second dose, as well as offering a vaccine to anyone who has yet to take up a first dose.

"Generally, we operate on Saturdays and will continue to do so until we have completed this phase of the programme. 

"We are immensely proud of the programme so far, and thank local residents for their patience as we move through this autumn and prepare for a busy winter.

"We believe the process we have at the Lord Butler continues to be safe and effective, and it gives us such encouragement to read of the positive experiences many patients have had when accessing the site for their vaccines."

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