Suffolk mass vaccination centre wants to jab 10,000 amid Omicron concern
- Credit: Charlotte Bond
A Suffolk mass vaccination centre will open at Newmarket Racecourse to jab 10,000 people who have already been invited amid concern about the Omicron variant.
Those aged 18 to 40 will be offered a Covid jab by the end of January after the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) recommended rolling it out.
A second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine for young people aged 12 to 15 years is advised no sooner than 12 weeks after the first dose.
Former health secretary and West Suffolk MP Matt Hancock said "the largest of its kind" centre at Newmarket Racecourse will take place on Sunday.
He added: "It is incredibly important that everyone takes up the offer of a vaccine. Even with - especially with - the new Omicron variant, vaccination is our best way out of Covid. Come and get boosted!”
An NHS spokesperson, said: “The NHS is having to work at extreme pace to respond to this new variant and to put in place the next and most complex phase of the successful Covid-19 vaccination programme.
“Following updated guidance from the JCVI [on Monday], the NHS will shortly set out how staff will expand the booster programme – this will include how booster jabs will be given in priority order so that the most vulnerable people are protected first, while also increasing capacity to vaccinate millions more people in a shorter space of time.
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“The NHS will contact you when you are due to book in for your lifesaving booster vaccination, and when you get the call, it’s vital that people come forward as quickly as possible.”
A spokesperson for the Suffolk and North East Essex Integrated Care System, said: “It’s so important for people to come forward for their Covid-19 vaccination.
"The NHS is working on the plans to extend vaccine eligibility and as soon as national guidance becomes available we’ll let people know how they can take up the offer."
Stuart Keeble, director for public health at Suffolk County Council, said: “Getting your vaccination – whether this is your first, second or booster dose – is absolutely vital in our fight against Covid.
“I strongly urge anyone to book your appointment as soon as you can.”
Where can I get a booster in Suffolk?
Woolpit Health Centre (Nov 30 and Dec 1), Moreton Hall Community Centre (Dec 1) in Bury St Edmunds, and Thurston Pharmacy (Dec 1, 2, and 4) are all offering walk-in booster jabs during the day.
While Cedars Park Community Centre in Stowmarket, Chevington Close in Bury St Edmunds, and Gainsborough Sports Centre in Ipswich can be booked for 12 to 15-year-olds through the National Booking Service.
How soon can you have the booster after Covid?
Any Covid vaccination should be delayed four weeks after recovery from Covid or an asymptomatic test, according to the Suffolk and North East Essex Integrated Care System.
Who can get the Covid booster vaccine?
Covid booster vaccines are being rolled out for people who are one of the following; aged 40 and over, live and work in care homes, frontline health and social care workers, people 16 and over at risk or live with someone at risk.
The NHS will also let eligible people know to have their booster vaccine when it is their turn.
What are the side effects of a Covid booster jab or vaccines for 12 to 15-year-olds?
The Suffolk and North East Essex Integrated Care System said Covid vaccines can mean pain and tenderness in the arms, flu-like symptoms, fever tiredness and headaches for a week but if your symptoms get worse ring NHS 111.
The JCVI has looked at extensive clinical evidence for giving vaccines to children and young people and has found the benefits outweigh the risks.
The Ipswich Star and EADT have launched the Grab the Jab campaign to encourage take up and protect our most vulnerable in Suffolk from coronavirus.