With the Easter bank holiday looming, NHS vaccination teams across the county will be working over the weekend, providing spring boosters as well as continuing the ‘evergreen’ offer of first, second and booster jabs.

People across the county have responded positively to the spring booster in particular, with 23,849 vaccinations given (i.e. second booster vaccinations – fourth or spring boosters and fifth doses for immunosuppressed people) as of 11th April, an increase of 10,003 since the previous week.

“We’re really pleased to be very busy vaccinating people again, particularly those aged 75 and over, and people who are immunosuppressed, as well as 5-11 year-olds and people who, for whatever reason, haven’t previously had their first, second or booster vaccination,” comments Karen Hewinson, Head of Clinical Services, NHS Lincolnshire CCG.

“It’s still preferable for us if people book in for their vaccinations, particularly the spring booster – which can be done online using the National Booking System or by calling 119 – because it makes it easier for us to anticipate likely demand and plan accordingly, in terms of vaccine supply.

“However, if it is more convenient, we have the flexibility to offer people their spring booster on a walk-in basis at either of our two Mass Vaccination Centres at PRSA, Boston, and at the Lincolnshire Showground, without the need to pre-book an appointment.  Just bear in mind these walk-in vaccinations are done on a ‘first come, first served’ basis and you may have to wait.”

Both of the county’s two Mass Vaccination Centres (MVCs) at PRSA, Boston, and at the Lincolnshire Showground are open Friday, Saturday and Monday (2.30pm-7.30pm at the Lincolnshire Showground, and 12.30pm-7.30pm at PRSA), but will be closed on Easter Sunday.

“If there was ever going to be a day when we might reasonably expect to be less busy, it’s Easter Sunday, and so our MVCs at PRSA and the Lincolnshire Showground will be shut for the day.  We’re going to give some of our teams a little time back, although a number of them will be out and about on Easter Sunday vaccinating housebound people,” explains Karen.

As with the previous boosters, eligibility for a spring booster is 182 days after your last vaccination and in Lincolnshire the vaccination teams are offering either Moderna or Pfizer , both of which boost well and have been given to millions of people in the UK.

In addition to the two MVC sites, some GP practices are taking part in the vaccination programme and are contacting patients to offer them an appointment.  The two MVC teams also continue to offer pop-up walk-in sessions, detailed below, enabling anyone eligible to simply turn-up and have their spring booster vaccination on a ‘first come, first served’ basis.

“Fortunately, our pop-ups continue to be popular wherever we hold them, but this does mean that we ask people who choose this route to be patient with our vaccination teams and to remember these walk-ins are on a ‘first come, first served basis’ and that you might have to wait.

“Whilst we are having a particular push on the spring boosters for those at higher risk of covid – including people aged 75 and over, residents in care homes for older adults, and people aged 12 and over who are immunosuppressed – because we know that immunity to covid wanes over time, it’s important to remember that getting vaccinated remains the best way to maximise your protection against covid for anyone who’s eligible,” adds Karen.

Younger children aged 5-11 continue to come forward in good numbers, accompanied by their parents/guardians, for their vaccinations too.

“We have separate clinics – bookable via the National Booking System or by calling 119 – dedicated to vaccinating 5-11 year-olds, to make the experience as child friendly as possible and 5-11 year-olds will be given the Comirnaty (Pfizer) COVID-19 vaccine – with each vaccine a third of the dose that is given to older children and adults.  A child aged 5-11 years-old needs two injections of the vaccine usually 12 weeks apart,” says Karen.

“The vaccine has been tested to make sure it is as safe as possible.  Don’t forget, we have been using vaccinations for decades to protect our children from potentially serious diseases, such as measles, flu, meningitis and mumps, and the covid vaccination is one more vaccine helping to protect them from illness.”

In addition, PRSA Mass Vaccination Centre will also be running further walk-in sessions for people aged 16 and over who are immunosuppressed, to have their booster (fourth) dose, and walk-in clinics for 5-11 year-olds (parent/guardian must be present to consent) on Friday 15th, Saturday 16th and Monday 18th April, between 8am and 12pm, plus an additional 5-11 walk-in clinic between 4.30pm-7.30pm on Monday 18th

The vaccination teams will also be running the following spring booster pop-up walk-in sessions, offering the spring booster to people aged 75 and over, as well as those aged 12 and over who are immunosuppressed (parents/guardians must be present to consent for 12-15 year-olds):

Friday 15th April at Bud Robinson Community Centre, Maple Street, Lincoln LN5 8QS, between 3pm and 7pm.

Sunday 17th April at Old Leake Community Centre, Furlongs Lane, Boston PE22 9NX, between 10.30am and 3.30pm.

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