Stay on track: get your vax wrapped up for the festive season
Health leaders across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland are urging everyone to make sure they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 in time for the festive season. A Big Vaccination Weekend is taking place across the area this coming Friday, Saturday and Sunday (26-28 November), with extra clinics making it easy to get the vaccine.
Dr Caroline Trevithick, Executive Director of Nursing, Quality and Performance and Deputy Chief Executive of the Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland Clinical Commissioning Groups, said: “Now’s the time many of us start planning for Christmas and the New Year, and we want to make sure getting the COVID-19 vaccine is on your to-do list, if you are due for a jab.
“The vaccine takes a couple of weeks to reach its full effectiveness. With just four weeks to go until Christmas, this weekend is your best chance to cross it off your list and get fully protected before meeting up with friends and family for the festive season.
“Whether you’re due your first, second, third or booster dose – it’s really important that you take advantage of all the clinics available this weekend, and get your life-saving vaccine now. And, for this weekend only, we have a pop-up clinic in Highcross Shopping Centre, so it’s a perfect chance to take a short break and have a sit down while you’re out shopping for presents, or simply passing by.”
The vaccine clinic at Highcross Shopping Centre will be next door to Footlocker on the lower mall, opposite the former Debenhams unit and will be open on Friday 10am-8pm, Saturday 9am-7pm and Sunday 11am-5pm.
Clinics are also taking place across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland, and many are operating as walk-ins, so you don’t even need to make an appointment – just check the opening times and go along.
Leicestershire County Council public health director Mike Sandys said: “Unfortunately Covid rates have risen to their highest ever levels locally but the vaccine is the thing that is keeping the wolf from the door and reducing the pressure on the NHS locally.
“Getting your jabs and boosters continues to be absolutely the most effective way to protect ourselves, our friends and our families. This is so important going into the winter when people will be gathering indoors more often and there will be a greater risk of transmission.”
Leicester’s Director of Public Health Professor Ivan Browne added: “With winter approaching and cases rising it’s vital that people get all of the vaccinations they are entitled to, to protect themselves and their families from Covid-19.
“There are lots of places in Leicester where you can get your vaccination, and this weekend’s walk-in clinic at the Highcross Shopping Centre offers another very convenient location, where anyone in Leicester who is eligible can call in and get their jabs.
“Vaccination is still the best protection you can get against Covid-19, and I would urge anyone who hasn’t yet had all of their vaccinations to make arrangements to get them now.”
People aged 16 and over (or turning 16 within 3 months) can get their first dose of the vaccine, followed by the second dose eight to twelve weeks later.
Children aged 12 to 15 are offered a single dose of the vaccine.
A third ‘top-up’ dose is offered to those aged over 12 who were severely immunosuppressed at the time of their first or second dose. You will be contacted by the NHS if you need a third dose, please bring proof of your eligibility if you attend a clinic for this dose.
The COVID-19 booster vaccine ensures you have continued protection over the winter. You can have a booster if you’ve had a first and second dose of the vaccine, your second dose was at least six months ago and one of the following applies to you:
• You are aged over 40
• You have a health condition that puts you at high risk from COVID-19
• You live with someone who is at high risk of getting COVID-19
• You are a carer
• You are a frontline health or social care worker.
Full details of all the Big Vaccination Weekend clinics are available online at www.leicestercityccg.nhs.uk