NHS launches major push to boost Covid vaccine uptake in Derbyshire ahead of Christmas gatherings
Vaccination teams across Derbyshire are beginning a major push this weekend to vaccinate as many people as possible against Covid-19 before Christmas.
The latest NHS data shows that a combined 1,789,336 doses have now been delivered across the county but among ages 12-39 first dose uptake rates remain below 90 per cent, while third dose booster uptake is below 50 per cent for ages 50-64.
Clinics are providing thousands of extra appointments for anyone who is eligible aged 12 and up, with many slots being booked up quickly by people so they will be better protected from the virus during Christmas festivities. Many sites are seeing a recent increase in the number of people coming in for their first vaccination.
Dr Steve Lloyd, executive medical director of NHS Derby and Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Group, stressed it was the start of an important period for the vaccination programme, with temperatures dropping and people gathering for family events over Christmas.
He said: “We know that winter brings increased risk of people transmitting and becoming ill from viruses like Covid-19 and flu, so just that risk alone makes it important for everyone to get their vaccination as soon as possible.
“At Christmas, a lot of people will be travelling and meeting in large groups indoors, which is a perfect environment for spreading these viruses. Getting a vaccination helps protect you and those around you.”
He added: “I really want to encourage people to book an appointment, or walk in where that's more appropriate, and get this protection. If people have questions or are uncertain, then there are clinical experts at vaccination sites who can provide answers and assurance.”
The campaign is primarily targeting those still to get first and second doses, but boosters are now being offered to people aged 40 and over, clinically vulnerable people aged 16 and over, and frontline health and social care workers. All must have received their second dose at least five months prior to booking.