Local health leaders are urging people across BSW who are eligible for covid and flu vaccinations to book their appointments as soon as possible.
As it stands, vaccine uptake among people aged 65 and over is generally quite good, but considerably less so for those in the 50 to 64-years-old age group.
There have also been fewer people who are considered at-risk, such as those with weakened immune systems, coming forward in this latest phase than at previous points in the vaccination journey.
The Covid-19 autumn booster is intended to provide people who are more susceptible to falling seriously ill with coronavirus an added layer of protection during the winter months.
Getting boosted also helps to stop the virus being passed from person to person, which can prevent the spread of future infections.
Vaccines for Covid-19 continue to be available from a range of local venues, including Bath Racecourse, the Steam Museum in Swindon and Salisbury City Hall, and can be booked quickly and easily online at www.nhs.uk or over the phone by calling 119.
Gill May, Chief Nurse, Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire Integrated Care Board, said:
“With winter just around the corner, and with the prospect of a flu and Covid-19 double-whammy a very real possibility, it is extremely concerning that fewer people are coming forward to get vaccinated.
“Both of these viruses have the potential to cause very serious problems to even the healthiest of people, but especially those in our communities who are older or vulnerable.
“I know that many think Covid-19 has gone away, and that catching it is similar to having a cold, but that just isn’t the case, and we need to act now to ensure that those who could see themselves end up in hospital if they get this terrible virus are protected.
“Booking a coronavirus vaccination is easy and straightforward, and the vaccine itself is a safe and proven way of keeping yourself and those around you protected from the brutal toll that Covid-19 can take.”
Flu and Covid vaccines
- All adults over the age of 50 are entitled to the covid-19 autumn booster, as well as a free NHS flu jab
- Covid boosters can be booked online at the National Booking System
- Flu vaccines can be obtained for free from a variety of locations, including GP practices and community pharmacies
- Adults who do not qualify for a free flu jab can still get protected by arranging to have the vaccine privately on the high street, either from a chemist, such as Boots or Lloyds, or a supermarket with an on-site pharmacy.