The NHS in the North East and North Cumbria will offer the first Spring booster vaccines this week as the Covid-19 vaccination programme moves into the next phase.

The extra booster is being offered to people aged 75 years and over, care home residents and people with weakened immune systems (aged 12 and over), in line with the latest advice from the Joint Committee on Immunisations & Vaccinations (JCVI).

Eligible people will be contacted by the NHS when it is their turn to be vaccinated, which is around six months on from their initial booster. Once invited, people will be able to book their appointment through the National Booking System or at a GP vaccination service if they have been contacted by their local practice.

GP teams will also be carrying booster clinics in local care homes over the coming weeks, as well as providing vaccinations for any eligible housebound patients.

Over 300,000 people in the North East and North Cumbria will be eligible for the Spring booster, and will be contacted between now and early Summer, depending on when they had their previous booster.

Read more: Visiting restrictions eased at County Durham hospitals

This follows the recommendation from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) that an extra dose should be offered to people in these groups to make sure those at greatest risk, and whose protection levels may have declined, continue to have high levels of protection against COVID-19.

The Northern Echo: A Covid vaccination being carried out at the new Durham Arnison mass vaccination site. Picture: SARAH CALDECOTTA Covid vaccination being carried out at the new Durham Arnison mass vaccination site. Picture: SARAH CALDECOTT

Research by the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) estimates that since mid-December 2021 some 157,000 hospitalisations have been prevented by booster doses.

Professor Neil Watson, who heads up the NHS COVID-19 Vaccination Programme for the North East and North Cumbria, said:

“We know that COVID-19 cases are still very active making many people very unwell in our region. Getting your spring booster will help increase your protection and reduce your risk of being admitted to hospital with COVID-19.”

“People are being prioritised according to when they had their previous booster and by clinical need so please wait to hear and do not contact your GP practice or other

NHS services. We will be contacting people who had their last dose around six months ago from now and until the early summer, so there is no need to worry if you don’t hear anything straight away.”

The NHS is still offering first and second doses too, as well as first boosters for anyone who has not yet had theirs. You can find your nearest walk-in clinic on your local authority website or book an appointment at: or by calling 119 free of charge.

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