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Pregnant women among those urged to get Covid-19 booster before Christmas

People in Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire who are eligible for the latest Covid-19 booster are being urged to come forward without delay, if they have yet to already do so.

Those most at risk of becoming seriously ill with Covid-19, such as people aged over 65, only have until Friday 15 December to receive the current autumn top-up dose.

After this date, vulnerable people will have to wait until the next round of booster vaccinations, which is likely to be in the spring.

Health leaders particularly want to see pregnant women come forward for the jab, as local data suggests most mums-to-be are yet to get protected.

Gill May, Chief Nurse, Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire Integrated Care Board, said: “Like other respiratory illnesses, Covid-19 is at its most prevalent during the cold winter months, when we spend more time indoors and there is less natural ventilation.

“Getting protected against Covid-19 ahead of the social Christmas season is a must for any person deemed to be vulnerable to this nasty, and potentially life-threatening, virus.

“Among those who we really want to see stay safe over the coming weeks are the pregnant women in our communities, as we know that Covid-19 not only adversely affects the mother, but also poses a risk to the unborn baby.

“Any person who is eligible for this latest booster vaccine should come forward before the cut-off date, as it is only through vaccination that we can limit the spread of Covid-19, while also keeping our most vulnerable protected.”

The Covid-19 booster jab is designed to provide vulnerable people, including those with weakened immune systems, care home residents and frontline health and care staff, with a layer of added immunity.

Getting vaccinated is a simple procedure which, unlike at the beginning of the large-scale rollouts, takes place inside most local community pharmacies.

Vaccination appointments can be arranged quicky and easily either online at www.nhs.uk or by calling 119.

Some people may also have been invited to come for their booster by jab by staff at their registered GP practice.

Across the local region, more than three quarters (78.1 per cent) of people aged 65 and over have had the latest booster, while just shy of 93 per cent of care home residents have also been protected.

Since the Covid-19 vaccine was first given out in December 2020, more than 2 million individual vaccinations have taken place across Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire.

More information about Covid-19, including who is currently eligible for the booster jab, can be found at www.nhs.uk.