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Covid booster jabs offered at NHS walk-in clinics in England

booster jabs

Covid booster jabs offered at NHS walk-in clinics in England

Covid booster jabs are now being given at walk-in clinics in England as the NHS aims to increase vaccine uptake before what is expected to be a challenging winter.

From Monday, anyone in an eligible group who had their second dose of a coronavirus vaccine at least six months ago can turn up at one of hundreds of sites to get their top-up without making an appointment. The walk-in centres are also offering vaccinations to 12- to 15-year-olds.

The move follows criticism of the booster campaign, with only about half of the 12 million people in England eligible so far for a third vaccine dose having received one. The vaccine rollout to teenagers has lagged behind that of countries including France, Italy and Spain.

People entitled to a booster jab are: those aged 50 and over, people who live and work in care homes; frontline health and social care workers; people aged 16 and over with a health condition that puts them at high risk of getting seriously ill from Covid-19; those aged 16 and over who are a main carer for someone at high risk from the virus, and; people aged 16 and over who live with someone who is more likely to get infections.

Nikki Kanani, a GP and the deputy lead for the NHS Covid-19 vaccination programme, said: “NHS staff are making it as easy as possible for people to get their top-up vaccination, and from today people can now go online, find their nearest site and go and get their booster without delay.

“The booster is not just nice to have. It is really important protection ahead of what we know will be a challenging winter.”

People are advised to use the NHS online walk-in finder to check where their nearest centre is and whether it is offering boosters, and vaccines for 12- to 15-year-olds. NHS England said almost everyone registered with a GP practice lives within 10 miles of a fixed vaccination site.

On Friday clinical guidelines were amended to allow care home residents and some vulnerable people to get their Covid booster vaccine a month early, in an effort to boost immunity during the winter.

The booster campaign is a central part of the government’s strategy for limiting hospital admissions because immunity from the initial two doses wanes over time, particularly in older adults and at-risk groups.

Protection against symptomatic illness falls from 65% up to three months after the second dose to 45% six months after the second dose for the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine and from 90% to 65% for the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, according to the latest evidence from the government’s scientific advisers. Protection against hospitalisation is estimated to fall from 95% to 75% for Oxford/AstraZeneca and from 99% to 90% for Pfizer/BioNTech.

On Sunday a further 38,009 people were reported as testing positive for Covid-19 in the UK in the previous 24 hours, with the seven-day total down 14% on the previous week, and 74 deaths were reported, with the seven-day total up 16%. A total of 45,697,856 second vaccine doses had been administered as of 30 October, whandile a combined total of 7,925,851 booster and third doses had been delivered, a day-on-day rise of 361,428.

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Hepatitis kills 28 people in Nasarawa as lawmakers call for ‘ state of emergency’ in health sector

Twenty-eight people have lost their lives to hepatitis in Ekye development area in the Doma local government area of Nasarawa State.

According to the member representing Doma South constituency in the State House of Assembly, Hon Musa Abubakar, the deaths occurred between October 2023 and February 2024.

The development necessitated the call by the State House of Assembly on Governor Abdullahi Sule to declare a state of emergency to tackle the menace and other health issues in the state.

Abubakar in a motion of urgent public importance presented before the Assembly, described the outbreak of hepatitis and the death toll as alarming.

“Mr Speaker and my colleagues, there is a serious health problem in my constituency as 28 people have been reportedly killed as a result of hepatitis outbreak from October last year to date. Hepatitis is killing my people and something needs to be done to curtail the disease in the area.

“I beg that the government should tackle this problem, we should come up with a strong committee to address this issue. Go to rural areas and see, our health facilities are in bad shape”, he said.

Hon Muhammad Oyanki, PDP, Doma North; Daniel Ogazi, APC, Kokona East;  Ibrahim Peter Akwe,  PDP, Obi 1; Solomon Akwashiki, SDP, Lafia Central; and Hon Larry Ven Bawa, APC, Akwanga North called for urgent action towards ending the menace.

Speaking on the matter, the speaker, Daniel Jatau, described the situation as unfortunate and sad. He said the death of 28 people as a result of the outbreak of the disease was a matter of urgent concern to both the government and the people of the state.

“We have two resolutions to the effects that His Excellency, Gov. Abdullahi Sule is hereby directed to ask the Ministry of Health to move their experts to the affected communities to ascertain the situation and do the needful.

“Secondly, the state government should declare a state of emergency on hepatitis and other deadly diseases in the state”, he said.

He sympathised with the people of Doma South constituency and the families over the death of their loved ones and prayed to God to grant the deceased eternal rest.

He directed the clerk of the House to communicate the House resolutions to Governor Abdullahi Sule for necessary action.

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Tinubu approves immediate upgrade of key health facilities across the country

President Bola Tinubu has approved the immediate upgrade of key health infrastructure and equipment across all six geo-political zones in line with his administration’s vision of overhauling the health and social welfare sector for enhanced service delivery to all Nigerians.

Upgrading health infrastructure and equipment is a top priority of President Tinubu’s Health Sector Renewal Investment Initiative. To advance this landmark effort, the Federal Ministry of Health and Social Welfare in collaboration with the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) will carry out the comprehensive upgradation of cancer-treatment infrastructure and other critical developments in six tertiary hospitals across several geopolitical zones, in addition to the full renovation and expansion of prior investments to improve broad-based access to high-quality healthcare in all six geo-political zones of the federation.

The following teaching hospitals across geo-political zones have been marked for the establishment of oncology and nuclear medicine centres per facility as part of President Tinubu’s bid to ensure that world class cancer diagnosis and care is accessible across the country:

(1) University of Benin Teaching Hospital

(2) Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital

(3) University of Nigeria (Nsukka) Teaching Hospital

(4) Federal Teaching Hospital, Katsina

(5) University of Jos Teaching Hospital

(6) Lagos University Teaching Hospital

The following ten critical health care service expansion projects across the fields of radiology, clinical pathology, medical and radiation oncology, and cardiac catheterization will be carried out in ten hospitals across all geo-political zones:

(1) North-West: Reference Hospital, Kaduna — (Radiology, clinical pathology, medical and radiation oncology)

(2) South-East: Medical Diagnostic Centre Complex, Enugu — (Radiology, clinical pathology, medical & radiation oncology)

(3) North-West: Usman Danfodiyo University Teaching Hospital, Sokoto — (Diagnostic and intervention radiology, clinical pathology, and cardiac catheterization)

(4) South-West: University College Hospital, Ibadan — (Diagnostic and intervention radiology, clinical pathology, and cardiac catheterization)

(5) South-South: University of Uyo Teaching Hospital — (Radiology and clinical pathology)

(6) North-East: Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University Teaching Hospital, Bauchi — (Radiology and clinical pathology)

(7) South-South: Federal Medical Centre, Asaba — (Radiology and clinical pathology)

(8) North-Central: Harmony Advanced Diagnostic Centre Complex, Ilorin — (Radiology and clinical pathology)

(9) North-Central: Jos University Teaching Hospital — (Radiology and clinical pathology)

(10) North-East: Federal Medical Centre, Nguru — (Radiology and clinical pathology)

These critical projects, set to be delivered within 12-18 months, will improve screening and diagnostics for communicable and non-communicable diseases; reduce mortality rates and improve outcomes for non-communicable diseases; create considerable employment opportunities for clinical, administrative, and managerial personnel across Nigeria’s six geo-political zones, all while building the capacity of clinical personnel in advanced procedures, diagnostics and treatment modalities, in accordance with the Renewed Hope Agenda of President Bola Tinubu.

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Tinubu is appointed AU champion for health

President Bola Tinubu has been appointed the African Union (AU) Champion for Human Resources for Health and Community Health Delivery Partnership. This is following his ambitious, innovative, and people-focused efforts in the sector.

According to a statement on Friday by his spokesman, Chief Ajuri Ngelale, the honour came in recognition of President Tinubu’s commitment to train 120,000 frontline health workers nationwide within 16 months and to double the number of primary health facilities in communities across all local government areas in Nigeria from 8,800 to over 17,000 in the next three years.

Ngelale said that the President is also committed to doubling health personnel enrolment capacity from accredited nursing and midwifery institutions to accommodate the new demand created by new facilities across Nigeria, while he is resolved to establish a paid volunteer youth force of social accountability officers to monitor the operational functioning and financial integrity of primary health centres.

He said that the African Union identified the Nigerian leader as the right champion for the noble and actionable continental effort.

In a letter to Nigeria’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs , the Commission of the African Union (Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention — Africa CDC) said that President Tinubu was appointed on the recommendation of the Committee of Heads of State and Government of Africa CDC, under the leadership of Comorian President Azali Assoumani, who is the AU Chairperson.

In his new role, the commission invited President Tinubu to address the Ministerial Executive Leadership Programme (MELP) under the theme, ‘Impactful Leadership in Health: A Whole Government Approach’, billed for Saturday at the Africa CDC Headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on the margins of the 37th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of AU Heads of State and Government.

The Tinubu administration is attracting global investments in Nigeria’s health sector for the provision of cutting-edge infrastructure, equipment, and world-class manpower for improved access to quality healthcare by all Nigerians.

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