People who received their second Covid-19 dose at least six months (182 days) ago can now have their booster jab at a walk-in centre across Essex, without needing to book an appointment or waiting to be invited.
As we head into winter, residents are being urged to keep on top of their Covid-19 vaccinations, remain cautious and take steps to prevent spreading the virus within local communities.
This includes testing regularly, meeting others outside or letting fresh air in if meeting indoors, washing your hands regularly and wearing a face covering in crowded places.
Residents are also advised to remain at home if they feel unwell and to self-isolate if they develop symptoms of Covid-19 or test positive for the virus.
Cllr John Spence, who is responsible for Health and Adult Social Care at Essex County Council said: “The number of cases of Covid-19 is rising more quickly in all age groups across Essex and we expect the rate to continue to rise as we move further into winter.
“It is down to all of us to help slow this increase and to protect ourselves and others. Ultimately, the way to live with Covid-19 is for every possible person to be vaccinated and to have that vaccination boosted when they are due. I am urging everyone to do this and remain cautious.”
Dr Mike Gogarty, Essex County Council’s Director of Public Health, said: “It is vital that everyone who is due for their booster vaccine, has it. As time goes by, the immunity from the first two doses of the vaccine is likely to reduce and this is sadly the case in older and more vulnerable people who had their jab first.
“As we head further into the colder months, we must also do everything we can to minimise the spread of the virus in the wider population. Regular testing remains important and I’d urge everyone to do so twice a week. The action we take as a population over the coming weeks really will make a difference in slowing the rise in case rates and reducing pressure on local NHS services.”
The latest data for Essex suggests the lowest rates of Covid-19 are in those over 60 and the highest are in those of secondary school age.
Parents and carers of young people aged 12-15 years old will be sent instructions directly on how to arrange a vaccination appointment for their child by their child’s school.
Students are also being encouraged to keep testing over half term and particularly before they start back at school to prevent spreading it in class.
Find out more about the vaccine here.