The NHS in Liverpool will be starting to offer COVID-19 Autumn boosters to those who are eligible from today – with those at highest risk being offered it first, including residents and staff in care homes, and some housebound patients.
From Monday 12 September, the Autumn boosters will also be made available to health and social care workers, and to patients aged 75 or over – with other eligible groups expected to follow soon after.
Those who are eligible for an Autumn booster include:
- Residents and staff in care homes
- Frontline health and social care workers
- All adults aged 50 years and over
- People aged 5 to 49 years in a clinical risk group
- People aged 5 to 49 years who are household contacts of people who are immunosuppressed
- People aged 16 to 49 years who are carers.
Everyone who is eligible for the booster will be contacted by the NHS when it’s their turn to be vaccinated - either by letter or text.
People are asked not to contact their GP Practice or other local NHS services about making an appointment for vaccination before this, as the NHS is prioritising vaccine supplies for those who are most at risk of serious illness from COVID-19 first.
The Autumn booster will be the first bivalent COVID-19 vaccine to be offered in the UK, meaning that it will provide protection against both the original covid strain, and the newer Omicron variant.
Dr Kirsty McAvoy, a local GP and Clinical Lead for Health Inequalities in Liverpool said:
“With colder weather approaching and people spending more time indoors again, COVID-19 rates are likely to increase again this Autumn. That’s why we really want to encourage everyone who is eligible for the Autumn booster to take up the offer when invited to do so.
“Not only will it help to prolong people’s protection against the original strain of the COVID-19 virus ahead of the winter, but it will also help prevent people becoming unwell with the newer Omicron variant too.”
The launch of Autumn boosters this week also coincides with the news that one million COVID-19 vaccines have now been provided to residents in Liverpool. This includes all first, second, and booster doses administered in Liverpool since the vaccine programme first began, back in December 2020.
Matthew Ashton, Director of Public Health for Liverpool said:
“Delivering over a million COVID-19 vaccinations is an incredible achievement, and in no small part due to the hard work of so many dedicated NHS staff, public health professionals and volunteers in our city, as well as thanks to every member of the public who has come forward to be vaccinated, helping protect themselves and others.
“However, winter is coming, and it is likely to be a difficult period for many people. The health risks around COVID-19 have still not gone away, and we may well see other winter viruses such as influenza, pneumonia, and RSV in circulation. Therefore, it is incumbent on all of us to protect ourselves and others as much as possible – so if you are invited to have an Autumn booster, please don’t put it off.
“I also want to remind those who have felt hesitant that it’s never too late to get vaccinated. Over a million COVID-19 vaccines have now been administered in our city alone, which means that you can have real confidence that it’s completely safe and very effective.”
As well as providing the Autumn boosters, the NHS ‘evergreen’ offer will continue to be in place for any adults and children (aged 5+) who are still unvaccinated, or only partially vaccinated against COVID-19.
Those people can make an appointment to get a first or second dose at a local vaccination clinic now by visiting: www.nhs.uk/covid-vaccination or by calling 119.