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Make getting your booster your New Year’s resolution

The local NHS is urging everyone who hasn’t had their booster – or hasn’t started their COVID vaccinations yet – to make getting the jab their New Year’s resolution.

Get yourself the best belated Christmas gift: protection from getting sick with COVID:

The websites are updated daily and throughout most days so please keep checking back for more appointments and walk in locations.

Dr Rachel Joyce, Director of Clinical and Professional Services at Herts and West Essex Clinical Commissioning Groups said: “We’re asking all those who have been putting off getting their booster to make the most of this special time of year to get jabbed.

“The wonderful staff and volunteers at our vaccination sites are ready and waiting to boost your immunity to COVID so you can start the new year with the maximum protection possible.

“The vast majority of those currently in hospital with serious complications from COVID are unvaccinated. All of our sites offer first and second doses as well as boosters – it’s not too late to catch up.

“Getting a vaccine is the single biggest step you can take in protecting yourself, your family and friends from COVID. Infection rates are still high and the more of us that get fully vaccinated the more chance we have of getting back to normal quickly and reducing the pressure on our hospitals.”

Dr Joyce added: “Let’s start 2022 with the best New Year’s resolution and the one you can achieve now – getting vaccinated to protect ourselves, and our family and friends.”

A reminder of those who are eligible for the COVID vaccine, and should now come forward:

  • Anyone aged 18 or over, who had their second dose more than 12 weeks ago can get a booster by booking an appointment or going to an advertised walk-in clinic
  • Anyone over 18 who has not yet had any vaccine, can book an appointment or go to one of our walk-in clinics
  • 12-15 year olds can now get their second vaccination three months after their first dose via a booked appointment or at a walk-in clinic
  • Immunocompromised patients are now eligible for a fourth vaccine dose three months after their third dose and will be contacted by their GP practice or can book an appointment or walk- in if three months has already passed.
  • Pregnant women can book an appointment or walk in without an appointment at any vaccination site for a first, second or booster dose. Please make yourself known to staff on site and you will be ‘fast tracked’.

For more information and questions and answers about COVID-19 vaccines and the vaccination programme in Hertfordshire and west Essex, visit the Healthier Futures website.

Changes to testing for COVID-19

Under temporary measures, from 11 January in England, if you get a positive rapid lateral flow test result, you will no longer need to take a PCR test to confirm the result. You are required to self-isolate immediately if you test positive.

Lateral flow tests are for anyone who does not have COVID-19 symptoms. If you develop one of the three main COVID-19 symptoms, you should stay at home, self-isolate and take a PCR test. You must self-isolate if you get a positive test result, even if you have had a recent negative lateral flow test – these rules have not changed.

Patient visiting restrictions

Following careful consideration, hospitals across Hertfordshire are reintroducing visiting restrictions. It’s only possible to visit your loved ones in hospital in exceptional circumstances.

This difficult decision has been taken due to the rising number of COVID cases in our local community. While it’s disappointing for both patients and their loved ones, these steps are necessary to keep patients and staff safe – and will be reviewed regularly.

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