NHS push for Covid boosters and flu jabs
- Credit: Sean Pollock Photographer
As the festive season begins Hackney people are being urged to protect themselves against Covid-19 and the flu by getting fully vaccinated.
While Covid cases have been rising steadily over several weeks after a drop in September, deaths remain below the five year average.
NHS North East London Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), which covers eight local authority areas including Hackney, says there are still more than 600,000 people aged over 16 in the area "risking their lives by not getting fully vaccinated".
In the 55 days between September 1 and October 25, 152 seriously-ill Covid-19 patients were treated in intensive care beds in north east London.
Of these, 85 per cent had not received two doses of the vaccine.
As well as offering first and second doses to unvaccinated people, the NHS began rolling out booster jabs last month at almost 100 local sites across north east London.
Boosters provide extra protection against Covid-19 as immunity from vaccination reduces over time. The local CCG says it is "crucial" to come forward for a booster jab once invited.
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Anyone aged 50 or over who had their second Covid-19 jab six months and one week ago is advised to go onto the NHS website or call 119 and book their booster – even if they have not received an invite.
Dr Jagan John, chairman of NHS North East London CCG, said: “Winter is always a challenging time for the NHS and we want to help our residents stay well by protecting themselves against Covid-19 as cases continue to rise.
“It is really important that people get their booster as soon as they become eligible. This can help prevent you from becoming seriously ill and requiring hospital treatment."
The NHS also advises people of all ages get their flu vaccinations this year.
The health service says more people could get flu this winter as less were infected during the pandemic and have not built up natural immunity to the latest strains of influenza.
Despite the flu jab push, uptake remains low across London and in the north east of the capital. Vaccine uptake for flu is more than 43pc in people aged 65 plus and 18.5pc in those deemed "at-risk" aged under 65.
The NHS warns that catching flu and Covid at the same time increases the likelihood of becoming seriously ill.
Find out more at northeastlondonccg.nhs.uk/your-health/coronavirus-covid-19