CONTINUED good progress is being made with the region’s COVID-19 vaccination programme, now helping to protect 16 and 17-year-olds.
As at end of August 16, a total of 96.3 per cent of adults aged 18 plus had received their first vaccination, and 85.2 per cent had received their second.
Director of Pharmacy Graeme Bryson said: “We are seeing a fantastic take-up of the opportunity to be vaccinated, and there is no doubt of the role this has played in helping to reduce serious illness resulting from COVID-19.
“We currently have high numbers of cases within our region, but thankfully vaccination means that we’re not seeing the same numbers of people seriously ill that we saw in previous waves.
“However, it’s being doubly vaccinated that’s key to developing the best defence against COVID, so please don’t leave the job half done.
“We’re hugely grateful for the support people have shown for the programme, with their actions not just helping to protect themselves and their families but also the wider communities and its vital services.”
An excellent uptake has been seen in the 18 to 29 age group, with 82.5 per cent having had their first dose, and so far 40 per cent their second – with a continuing cal for people to come forward, and perhaps make use of the drop-in clinics.
Work has taken place to vaccinate 12 to 15-year-olds in at-risk categories, and 12 to 15-year-olds who are contacts of immunosuppressed family members have been urged to registered for appointments or simply come forward to drop-In clinics where they will receive their Pfizer vaccine.
Similarly, 16 to 17-year-olds can just turn up at drop-in clinics across the region, with a good flow of attendance being recorded.
At present, there is no JCVI recommendation as yet to vaccinate 12 to 15-year-olds with no at-risk conditions.
Flu vaccinations are meanwhile set to begin from the second week September, with an initial priority for pre-school and school age children.
Co-vaccination with flu and COVID booster vaccines for care homes and the immunosuppressed are planned for later in September, and vaccinations for over 70s from the end of that month.
This is all based on national directions, which will inform further planning as vaccinations continue within the region over coming months.