People in north east London urged to get COVID booster as cases rise

People in north east London are being urged to come forward for their COVID-19 jab as infection rates rise, leading to more patients being hospitalised and more deaths from the disease.

There are still more than 600,000[i] people aged over 16 in north east London (NEL) who are risking their lives by not getting fully vaccinated. In the 55 days between 1 September and 25 October 2021, 152 seriously-ill COVID-19 patients were treated in intensive care beds in hospitals across NEL. Of these, 129 (85%) had not received two doses of the vaccine.

As well as offering first and second doses to unvaccinated people, the NHS began rolling out booster jabs last month at local sites across Barking and Dagenham, Havering, Newham, Redbridge and Waltham Forest.

Boosters provide vital extra protection against COVID-19 so it is crucial that you come forward for your vaccine as soon as you are invited. But anyone aged 50 or over who had their second COVID-19 jab six months and one week ago (before mid-April) should go onto the NHS website or call 119 and book their booster – even if they have not received an invite.

Although COVID-19 vaccines give high levels of protection, immunity reduces over time so getting a booster will help you top up your defences and help prevent you from getting sick.

Dr Jagan John, Chair of NHS North East London Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “Winter is always a challenging time for the NHS and we want to help our residents stay well by protecting themselves against COVID-19 as cases continue to rise.

“It is really important that people get their booster as soon as they become eligible. This can help prevent you from becoming seriously ill and requiring hospital treatment.

“COVID-19 has not gone away and the figures we are seeing from our local trusts, with large numbers of unvaccinated patients in intensive care, are a stark reminder of how important it is that everyone, and particularly our more vulnerable residents, comes forward for the vaccine.

“For those people who have still not yet had their first COVID-19 vaccine, now really is the time. Remaining unprotected against COVID-19 puts you and those around you at much greater risk.”

First and second COVID jabs are available at a range of sites across NEL, including pharmacies and community venues. Anyone aged 16-plus can easily find their nearest high street, walk-in vaccination centre for their first or second jab through the ‘Grab a Jab’ NHS online walk-in finder.

Mick Ferris

Editor Email: [email protected]