Health chiefs in Luton have today revealed the latest vaccination statistics for the town which show that more than 350,000 COVID-19 vaccinations have been given in the borough.
Although it means that over 67% of those eligible for a booster are now protected from becoming seriously ill, they warn that there remains a long way to go to ensuring the whole population is protected.
As of 4pm on January 19, 145,677 had received a first dose, 129,756 had received a second dose and 79,112 has received their booster or third dose - making a total of 354,545 jabs
People across Luton, especially those 18-30 year olds who haven’t yet had their first or second dose or indeed their COVID-19 booster, are strongly urged to play their part in combatting the COVID-19 pandemic and helping everyone get back to everyday life.
They point out the impact of not being vaccinated isn’t just felt on health and care services, it also has a knock-on effect on many other local services. The more people are vaccinated, the less chance there is of key workers in the community being ill with COVID, or not able to work as they’re isolating or caring for others. And that impacts everyone’s quality of life.
Sally Cartwright, Interim Director of Public Health at Luton Council, said: “Living with COVID and having restrictions on our lives will continue to impact us all if we don’t reduce the impact of the virus on our health and care systems, our education system, local government, and leisure and hospitality sectors.
“The latest data shows that by having your COVID-19 booster, you are more than 85% less likely to be hospitalised due to COVID-19. Vaccines are the best way to protect ourselves and our loved ones, and also reduce the disruption to our lives.
Geraint Davies, Senior Responsible Officer for the vaccination programme from NHS Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes Clinical Commissioning Group said: “We strongly encourage people who are eligible to come forward for their vaccination and play their part in helping to make 2022 the end of COVID restrictions impacting on daily life. And please don’t forget it’s not too late to have your first or second dose either.
“If you’ve held off getting the vaccine because you’re uncertain about its safety, I’d urge you to review the COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy information that has been developed by the British Society for Immunology. This internationally recognised organisation has developed an easy to digest COVID-19 vaccination guide that explains how the vaccines work and helps to address questions and concerns about their safety and efficacy. This information might just help you take the next step in getting vaccinated.”
Health bosses are also reminding people that have had COVID over the festive period that they can book their first, second, or booster vaccination from 28 days after their infection.
You can make an appointment via the NHS national booking service online at nhs.uk/covid-vaccination or by calling 119 (free), between 7am and 11pm seven days a week
Alternatively attend an advertised walk-in site, find one at www.blmkccg.nhs.uk/drop-inBoth websites are updated every day, throughout the day so keep checking back for more appointments and walk in locations.
In addition, the roving vaccination teams are continuing to visit housebound patients across the county and administer vaccinations to those that can’t attend clinics or walk-in sites.
A reminder of those who are eligible and should now come forward:
12-18 year olds can now get their second vaccination after three months from their first dose via booked appointment, some walk ins or at school from January onwards
Anyone aged 18+ who had their second dose more than 12 weeks ago can get a booster by booking an appointment or going to and advertised walk in clinic
Immunocompromised patients are now eligible for a fourth vaccine dose at three months after their third dose and will be contacted by their GP practice or can book an appointment or walk in if they are already at 12 weeks.
Health and care workers and pregnant women can walk in without an appointment at any vaccination site for a first, second or booster dose. Please make yourself know to staff on site and you will be ‘fast tracked’.
First, second and booster vaccination appointments can be booked through the national booking service by visiting nhs.uk/covid-vaccination or telephoning 119.
Alternatively, search for a walk-in vaccination site here: www.blmkccg.nhs.uk/drop-in