NHS Announce COVID Vaccination Autumn 2023

covid boosterThe NHS has confirmed their plans for an autumn Covid booster vaccination campaign with injections to start 11th September, prioritising those most in need. 

As with the autumn 2022 campaign, covid vaccination will be on an ‘invitations only’ basis according to eligibility criteria based around age and underlying health conditions:

  • Adults aged 65+
  • Frontline health and social care workers
  • Residents in care homes for older adults
  • Aged 6 months to 64 years in a clinical risk group, as defined in tables 3-4 of the Covid-19 chapter of the UKHSA Green Book on Immunisation
  • Aged 12-64 years and household contacts of people with immunosuppression, as defined in the UKHSA Green Book
  • Aged 16 to 64 years carers, as defined in the UKHSA Green Book and staff working in care homes for older adults

Vaccination will commence with those at highest risk, including immunosuppressed and adult care home residents. From 18th September, the NHS will invite those eligible in order of risk. Patients will need to self-book using the booking service.

Definition of ‘clinical risk group’

Clinical risk groups for individuals aged 16 years and over include:

  • Chronic respiratory disease
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Chronic neurological disease, such as stroke and individuals with cerebral palsy, profound multiple learning disabilities, Down’s syndrome, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, dementia, Parkinson’s disease, motor neurone disease and related or similar conditions.
  • Diabetes
  • Those with immunosuppression
  • Asplenia or dysfunction of the spleen
  • Morbid obesity
  • Severe mental illness
  • Younger adults in long-stay nursing and residential care settings
  • Pregnant women

Clinical risk groups for those aged under 16 years include:

  • Chronic respiratory disease
  • Chronic heart conditions
  • Chronic conditions of the kidney, liver or digestive system
  • Chronic neurological disease
  • Endocrine disorders
  • Immunosuppression
  • Asplenia or dysfunction of the spleen
  • Serious genetic abnormalities that affect a number of systems
  • Pregnancy

Earlier than planned vaccination

The vaccination programme is starting earlier than planned following identification of a new covid variant, BA.2.86, which was detected in Friday 18th August. Although it is not classified as a variant of concern, BA.2.86 variant is considered to have a high number of mutations and has spread rapidly.

Bringing forward the vaccination programme is a sensible response.

Have the vaccines changed?

The autumn booster programme will use one of 3 vaccines:

  • Pfizer
  • Moderna
  • Sanofi

The vaccines have been updated since the original releases to offer slightly higher levels of antibodies against more recent strains of the virus including Omicron.

Do boosters matter if I’m already vaccinated?

The best prevention against coronavirus is to take advantage of any immunisations offered, including all booster shots. This will not eliminate the risks, but it can be expected to reduce the likelihood of illness and severity of illness.

Having a booster has been proven to be beneficial in increasing the body’s protection against covid. The vaccine helps to protect against severe illness, hospitalisations and deaths from Covid.

Looking at the 2022 autumn booster programme, people who received a booster were around 53% less likely to go to the hospital with Covid in the 2-4 weeks after getting vaccinated, compared to those who didn’t get a booster.

What if I’m not eligible?

At this point in time, vaccination against coronavirus is strictly based on eligibility and provided exclusively by the NHS.

If you are concerned about this, then it’s best to speak to your GP in the first instance.

Those in The Smart Clinics’ medical membership scheme have ready access to our private GPs. If you’re concerned about any aspect of your health, then we can arrange a telephone or video call with a doctor.

Flu jabs are available privately and can be obtained quite widely. The Smart Clinics will be offering flu vaccination for its patients with a choice of 4 clinics.

The Smart Clinics

The Smart Clinics is best known for its unique membership based private GP service with access to a friendly team of experienced doctors, which entitles individuals, families and corporate members to unlimited GP access for a monthly fee. Private dentistry is also available as an optional extra and available in their Chelsea clinic.

The Smart Clinics brings together a host of medical professionals offering patients high quality health services in a choice of accessible London clinic locations:

For more information contact us on [email protected] or call  020 7052 0070.

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