The Covid-19 booster programme has started and is being delivered through some GP practices, pharmacies and large vaccination centres by appointment only, a meeting heard.
Dan Ibeziako, from BLMK CCG’s communication and engagement team, gave Bedford Borough Council’s Local Outbreak Engagement Board (30 September 2021) an update on the Covid-19 booster programme.
Dan Ibeziako’s presentation explained that eligible cohorts will be invited by the NHS or their GP surgery to book a Covid booster appointment.
Booster jabs are not available as a walk-in service.
People living in residential care homes for older adults will be visited by NHS teams, and the process for adult household contacts of immunosuppressed individuals is still in development.
Mr Ibeziako said, “The booster program is for those people who have had a second dose of a Covid-19 vaccination.
“And it needs to be at least six months since their second vaccination.”
“Most people will get the Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna vaccine, so it may mean that it’s a different booster to the first and second dose."
Mr Ibeziako added that if someone can’t have a Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna dose then they may be offered an Oxford/AstraZeneca jab.
Councillor Graeme Coombes (Conservative, Wilshamstead Ward) said, “When we had the first and second jabs it was quite specific that they had to match.”
“Why is it OK to have a different one for your booster jab?” he asked.
Ian Brown, chief officer for public health at Bedford Borough Council said, “My understanding is there were studies over the summer called the COV-Boost vaccine trial.
"They demonstrated that a single booster of a Pfizer vaccine provided a very good additional protection regardless of what you had the first time round.
“There's good evidence to suggest that if you have AstraZeneca for your first and second jab, and then you have either Pfizer or Moderna for your booster then you'll get a very good immunity response.”
Mr Ibeziako added that the seasonal flu jab programme has started and it is possible to have both the booster and the flu jabs at the same time.
“If you’ve got an appointment for your flu jab then you should act on that as soon as possible”, he said.
He said if for some reason they can’t be given at the same appointment then there should be a minimum of seven days between the jabs.
More information on COVID boosters can be found on BLMK CCG’s website.