All Devon residents urged to book their booster jabs now
Published: 15 December 2021
The NHS in Devon is urging residents to 'get boosted now’ as part of the urgent national appeal to get better protection against the COVID-19 Omicron variant.
They’re working hard to vaccinate more people each week than ever before, with more sites, longer opening hours, more pop-up clinics and recruiting more volunteers.
Vaccination sites in Devon are already experiencing exceptionally high demand, and people attending are being asked to come prepared to queue, and to use public transport where possible due to pressure on car parking.
NHS Devon's chief nurse Darryn Allcorn said: “It is vital that people listen to the message that two doses is not enough to give you good protection against the Omicron variant. We need a third, booster dose to bring our immunity back up. We already have people in hospital in the UK who have the Omicron variant, and scientists cannot say that it is less severe than other COVID-19 variants.”
Appointments at vaccination sites remain the best way to get your vaccine, and can be booked via the National Booking System.
Details of walk-in clinics are being shared on NHS Devon Clinical Commissioning Group's (CCG) social media pages, and you can find your nearest walk-in clinic on NHS England's site finder.
GP practices or other local NHS healthcare providers are vaccinating people who are housebound, as quickly and as safely as possible.
Steve Brown, Devon’s Director of Public Health Devon, said: “The emergence of the Omicron variant, and the uncertainty right now about its impact on our health, is a reminder of how quickly situations can change.
“We know that the Omicron strain of the coronavirus is more infectious than previous variants, and it is clear that we need to do more to reduce the risk of transmission. Taking up third or booster vaccination is vital, and I would encourage everyone who is eligible to do so as soon as possible.
“I also urge everyone to heed the national guidance around the wearing of face coverings, now a requirement in most public places, especially in confined, indoor and crowded spaces; to work from home if you can; and to social distance as much as possible.
“From now people who are double vaccinated or between five years and 18-and-a-half years, who are identified as a contact of someone with coronavirus, whether Omicron or not, will need to take a lateral flow test every day for a week. People who are unvaccinated and identified as a contact to someone with the virus will need to self-isolate for 10 days.
“But while take up of the vaccines in Devon has been very good, not everyone has chosen to. My message to those who are eligible to do so but who have not yet chosen to take up the vaccine, is that it’s not too late. One dose is better than no dose, two doses are better than one, and three doses will give you better protection than two doses from becoming seriously unwell if you to catch coronavirus.”
The UK COVID-19 alert level has moved from level 3 to level 4.
This means that coronavirus is in general circulation, that transmission is high or rising exponentially and additional measures are required, as well as social distancing. These include:
- Wearing face coverings in most public venues, including theatres and cinemas, unless you're exempt. A full list of where you are required to wear face coverings is on the government website
- People are now encouraged to work from home if they can
- NHS COVID passes will be mandatory for entry into nightclubs and venues where larger crowds gather. The NHS COVID Pass can be obtained by having two vaccines or a negative lateral flow test. The pass can be downloaded from the NHS app and saved onto mobile phones or saved as a PDF and printed off. They last for 30 days.
Alongside these, people should continue to take sensible precautions including ventilating rooms, testing regularly and isolating if they have COVID-19 symptoms.