COVID-19 boosters will be offered to the people most at risk from the disease across Dumfries and Galloway this spring.
Everyone over 75, everyone living in a care home for older people, and everyone over five years old with a weakened immune system will be offered a free booster, to ensure they have the best protection possible against COVID-19 infection over spring and summer.
Letters are going out to thousands of people in the region – and to many thousands more across Scotland – with details of the time and place of their vaccination appointments. The plan is to deliver spring boosters to everyone eligible by 30 June, with the first boosters starting in early April.
NHS Dumfries and Galloway public health consultant Andrew Rideout said: “COVID-19 infection still carries serious health risks for older people and for people with health conditions that make them more vulnerable. So if you receive a letter with details of an appointment, it’s very important that you attend. If you absolutely cannot make your appointment, you need to let us know and book another appointment at a time that suits you.
“Vaccination against COVID-19 has been one of the great public health success stories of history – it has greatly reduced the risk of serious illness. But COVID-19 has not gone away, and it is still dangerous, especially to people at higher risk because of their age or medical condition. Keeping your protection up to date is the best way to reduce your risk.”
Getting fully vaccinated against COVID-19 significantly reduces the danger of becoming seriously ill from the coronavirus. But the protection that the COVID-19 vaccine provides will decrease over time. Booster vaccinations are designed to refresh protection against COVID-19.
Appointments are timed based on previous vaccination dates to provide the best possible level of protection for as long as possible.
However, anyone who is unable to attend their booked appointment can reschedule by visiting www.nhsinform.scot/springbooster or calling the National Vaccination Helpline on 0800 030 8013. But this may mean rescheduling to a later date instead. For any questions about COVID-19 boosters, or help with appointments, people in Dumfries and Galloway can also call the local vaccine helpline on 01387 403090.