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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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Health

WHO announces global resurgence of cholera

The UN World Health Organisation (WHO) has announced a spike in cholera in several regions of the world, with almost 195,000 cases and over 1,900 deaths reported in 24 countries since the start of this year.

The agency’s Eastern Mediterranean Region reported the highest number of cases, followed by the African Region, the Region of the Americas, the Southeast Asia Region, and the European Region.

WHO, in a statement on Thursday, stated that there are no reported cases in the Western Region, according to its bulletin released on Wednesday.

The UN health agency said it exhausted its global stockpile of Oral Cholera Vaccines (OCV) by March but was able to exceed “the emergency target of five million doses in early June for the first time in 2024.”

Yet, the supply of the vaccine does not equate to its demand.

WHO reported that since January last year, 16 countries requested 92 million doses of OCV – almost double the 49 million produced during that time.

WHO, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and other partners are working together to use resources to find long-term solutions for cholera.

On the positive side of health news, WHO announced on Thursday that Chad successfully eradicated “sleeping sickness” as a public health problem.

The agency applauded the Government and people of Chad for eradicating the gambiense form of human African trypanosomiasis, (also known as sleeping sickness).

“I congratulate the government and the people of Chad for this achievement.

“It is great to see Chad join the growing group of countries that have eliminated at least one neglected tropical disease (NTD),” Tedros Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General, said.

In eliminating the disease, Chad joining some 50 others globally that have succeeded in this endeavour.

“The 100-country target is nearer and within reach,” Ghebreyesus, added, referring to the target set out in the road map for address neglected tropical diseases by 2030.

Sleeping sickness can cause flu-like symptoms initially but eventually causing behaviour change, confusion, sleep cycle disturbances or even coma, often leading to death.

Improved access to early diagnosis and treatment, as well as surveillance and response has proven that countries can control and eventually eliminate transmission.

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Health

Cholera outbreak: Lagos fatalities rise to 24 as Govt harps on hygiene

Lagos State has recorded additional three deaths, bringing the total number of fatalities recorded in the cholera outbreak to 24.

Commissioner for Health, Prof Akin Abayomi disclosed this on his X handle on Friday.

He disclosed that the suspected cases stand at 417, while there are 35 confirmed cases.

Abayomi urged residents to “adhere strictly to personal and environmental hygiene.”

The Special Adviser to the Governor on Health, Dr Kemi Ogunyemi, on Thursday, explained that Lagos Island, Kosofe, and Eti Osa recorded the highest number of the cases.

Ogunyemi was quoted to have revealed the figure while providing an update on the outbreak after meeting with members of the Lagos State Public Health Emergency Operations Centre.

According to Ogunyemi, the rise in cases was anticipated following the Ileya festivities, during which large gatherings occurred.

“Following the last update on the cholera outbreak in Lagos, which reported 350 suspected cases and 15 fatalities, the Special Adviser to the Lagos State Governor on Health, Dr Kemi Ogunyemi, disclosed that the total number of cholera cases has increased to 401 across Lagos, with Lagos Island, Kosofe, and Eti Osa recording the highest numbers.

“Dr. Ogunyemi revealed this today while providing an update on the outbreak after meeting with members of the Lagos State Public Health Emergency Operations Centre. She added that the death toll has also risen to 21, an increase of six from the previously reported 15 fatalities,” the statement partly read.

The Governor’s aide stated that the government is maintaining rigorous surveillance and monitoring of the situation and implementing planned programs and activities to curb the spread.

“The Ministry of Health, in collaboration with the State Ministry of Environment and its agency, the Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency, continues to collect samples of water sources, food, and beverages to identify the source of contamination. We have also intensified our surveillance activities in communities, particularly in affected local government areas, to address the situation head-on.

“We are also working with the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education as well as the Ministry of Tertiary Education to ensure all precautions are taken in our schools to protect children and scholars as they return. Residents must, however, remain vigilant, practice good hand hygiene, and participate in community sanitation activities to stop the spread of cholera,” she stated.

She advised that citizens seek medical attention immediately if they experience symptoms such as watery diarrhoea, vomiting, abdominal pain, general malaise, and fever, stressing that cholera treatment is provided free of charge at all public health facilities. Daily Trust

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Health

Cholera: Kwara govt takes proactive measure to stem any outbreak

The Kwara Government has alerted healthcare surveillance teams across all the state’s 16 Local Government Areas (LGAs) on preparations and preventive measures against any outbreak of cholera.

Mr Gbenga Falade, the Chief Press Secretary in the Kwara Ministry of Health, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday in Ilorin the Ministry had also commenced awareness campaign.

”This is through jingles on radio stations on the preventive measures against the disease and how people can protect themselves,” he said.

NAN reports that cases of severe gastro-enteritis have been reported in communities around Eti-Osa, Lagos Island, Ikorodu and Kosofe LGAs of Lagos State.

Falade explained that the state ministry has kept itself abreast of news and has taken proactive measures to stem any outbreak.

“The ministry will take all necessary measures to ensure the safety of its citizens,” he said.

Also speaking on preventive measures, Prof. Tanimola Akande of the Department of Public Health, University of Ilorin, advised Nigerians on proper sanitation in the form of proper faecal waste disposal.

Akande, who is also a Consultant Public Health Physician with University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital, (UITH), explained that other preventive measures includes food and water hygiene.

He described cholera as an acute diarrhoeal disease caused by vibrio cholerae.

According to him, it was a potentially life-threatening disease, primarily waterborne.

The expert stated that vaccination remained one of the most cost-effective measures in controlling cholera epidemic across the states.

“Vaccination is one of the cost-effective measures in the control of cholera epidemic.

“Cholera vaccination alone is not used for control of the epidemic of cholera,” he said.

Akande emphasised the need for preventive measures, including adequate food hygiene and water supply together with sanitation.

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