Betsi Cadwaladr: Autumn COVID-19 boosters and flu vaccines plans unveiled
Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board has announced its comprehensive plans to administer COVID-19 Autumn boosters and flu vaccines to over 300,000 eligible individuals in North Wales.
This initiative, set to commence on September 11, is in collaboration with primary care professionals and community pharmacies.
The announcement comes amidst growing concerns regarding new COVID-19 variants and a surge in hospital admissions due to the virus.
Recent data indicates a broader increase in community transmission.
Additionally, reports of a severe flu season in Australia, often a precursor for the UK’s flu trends, have heightened the urgency of the vaccination drive.
The health board is actively encouraging all those eligible for the free COVID-19 Autumn booster and flu vaccines to get vaccinated.
They stress that these vaccines are the best line of defence against potential outbreaks during the winter months.
Detailed information about the eligible groups, as recommended by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation and the Chief Medical Officer for Wales, is accessible on the health board’s website.
In a bid to streamline the process, where feasible, individuals might receive both the COVID-19 Autumn booster and flu vaccines simultaneously.
However, due to logistical reasons, most will be scheduled for two separate appointments.
Starting September 11, the COVID-19 vaccination drive will prioritise residents of care homes and the housebound.
The focus will then shift to other eligible groups, starting with those at the highest clinical risk. Frontline health and care service providers, the backbone of the NHS and social care, will also be among the early recipients of the vaccine.
Eligible individuals are advised to await their invitation for vaccination, which will detail the date, time, and venue.
The health board emphasises the importance of adhering to the scheduled appointment due to the vast number of vaccinations planned daily.
For any concerns or rescheduling needs, individuals can reach out to the COVID-19 Vaccination Contact Centre.
On the flu front, those eligible for the vaccine will typically be contacted by their GP surgery.
Methods of communication might include letters, text messages or phone calls.
The most vulnerable patients will be prioritised. Some might also receive invitations to local community vaccination centres. Additionally, over 100 community pharmacies in North Wales are equipped to offer free flu vaccines to eligible groups.
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