The NHS in Sefton is reminding all residents to get their second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine booked in as soon as possible, to get maximum protection and help curb the spread of the virus across the borough.
Following updated national guidance, NHS South Sefton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and NHS Southport and Formby CCG are also encouraging people aged over 50 to take up the offer of bringing forward their second doses of the COVID-19 vaccine when they are contacted, to ensure they have the strongest possible protection from the virus at an earlier opportunity.
Sefton residents who are over 50, and those who are clinically vulnerable, are now able to have their second dose of the COVID-19 vaccination brought forward from 12 to 8 weeks after their first dose. Anyone who is due their second vaccine and is in one of the top nine priority groups, will be contacted by the NHS to let them know when and how to rebook.
If they had their vaccine at a GP led vaccination site, their GP will be in touch with them to book them in for their second dose earlier than planned.
For those who booked via the national booking service they will be contacted by the NHS to rearrange for an earlier date. Once contacted, they will then need to cancel their existing second dose appointment online or by calling 119. When they have cancelled their existing appointment, they will be able to book a new date at around 8 weeks after their first vaccine dose, or as soon as possible after that.
Dr Rob Caudwell, local GP and chair of NHS Southport and Formby (CCG), said: “While the first dose of the vaccine does give good protection from the virus, the second dose gives you an increased and longer-lasting defence, so we encourage those eligible to get their second dose as early as possible by bringing their appointments forward when contacted to do so.”
“The vaccines have been proven to be highly effective against COVID-19, including against the new variant first identified in India, so getting both your doses as soon as you are able will help us to keep our communities in Sefton protected.”
Dr Craig Blakey, GP and urgent care lead for NHS South Sefton CCG, said: “More than 170,000 people in Sefton have received their first dose of protection so far, and over 111,000 have already been fully vaccinated.
“Vaccines are safe, effective and it’s never too late to get your jab so if you’re eligible – do not delay booking in for your appointment.
“Getting vaccinated is the most important step we can take to protect ourselves, our families and our communities against COVID-19.”
NHS staff are continuing to vaccinate Sefton residents according to national guidance on priority groups and anyone aged 30 and over can now book their jab through the national booking system.
There are several vaccination centres across Merseyside that anyone eligible can make appointments at, including nine pharmacies in Sefton based in Ainsdale, Bootle, Formby, Litherland, Seaforth, Southport and Waterloo.
When invited, people in Sefton will be able to book their first or second doses by calling 119 or visiting the national booking service website: www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19.
Text invitations appear as an alert from ‘NHSvaccine’, including a web link to the NHS website to reserve an appointment.
People 39 and under without underlying health conditions, as well as pregnant women, will be offered the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine in line with recently updated JCVI guidance.