St Helens residents encouraged to get their Spring COVID-19 booster vaccinations
Eligible residents in St Helens are being encouraged to get their Spring booster COVID-19 vaccinations to help bolster their defence against the virus in the coming months.
Article date: 28 April 2022
Older residents, those who are vulnerable or have existing health conditions are being urged to get their Spring booster jab as soon as possible.
COVID-19 can be more serious in older people and those with a weakened immune system and getting the spring booster will help maintain protection from the virus.
COVID-19 infection rates remain high in the borough, with the end of official testing earlier this month meaning more infections could be potentially passed between residents undetected.
In the week ending April 22nd, there were 351 confirmed new cases in the borough, with infection rates at 194 per 100,000 people. However, national data indicated that one in 17 people had the virus in the week up to April 17th.
Under the Government's new guidance, the Spring booster vaccination is being offered to residents aged 75 and over, people who live in a care home for older people plus those aged 12 and over with a weakened immune system.
If you are eligible for the spring booster vaccine you can book an appointment through the NHS national booking system at Book or manage a coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination - NHS (www.nhs.uk) or ring 119.
Since the vaccination programme began last year, 103, 747 residents aged over 16 in the borough have had both their COVID-19 vaccinations plus their first booster jab. In addition, 2,480 12-15 year olds in the borough have so far had both of their COVID-19 vaccinations.
Recent government analysis estimates that boosters alone prevented 105,600 hospitalisations in those aged 25 and over in England between 13 December 2021 and 6 February 2022.
Ruth du Plessis, Director of Public Health at St Helens Council, said: "The positive response of residents in coming forward to receive their first, second and third COVID-19 vaccinations has been a major factor in helping to limit the impact of the virus in the borough and helping to save lives.
"Having the vaccination is the best protection you can have against both becoming seriously ill and passing the virus to others. So we would strongly recommend residents to have their second booster jab if they are eligible. And if you have not yet had all your vaccines, please come forward and get fully vaccinated.
Ruth added: "Although the vaccine is extremely effective in combatting the virus, it's effects can become less effective over time so the spring booster is important for maintaining your body's defence against Covid. The first booster vaccination helped to make that difference during the Winter and we expect the Spring booster will have a similar impact."
Dr David Reade, a local GP and Governing Body member at NHS St Helens Clinical Commissioning Group said: "We are seeing significant numbers of people aged over 75 who have recently become quite unwell having caught Covid. The booster jab will help protect against serious infection and hospitalisation so please take the opportunity to get your Spring booster when you are eligible by booking an appointment at a nearby vaccination site."
You can reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19 and other respiratory infections by following safe behaviour in your household or other indoor spaces. More details on these can be found here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1065735/AG232_Safe_at_home_infographic.pdf
More information on COVID-19 is available on the NHS website alongside other diseases https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/