To-date across the UK, the NHS has given over 39 million vaccines as of April 13, including over seven million second doses, which means that over one in ten people have now received both a first and a second covid vaccination, ensuring maximum protection from the virus over the coming months.
“Having focused on giving first vaccinations to people in cohorts 1-9 over the last few months (adults over 50), during April we are shifting our attention on to ensuring people get their second dose of the vaccination,” explains Dr Dave Baker, GP and South West Lincolnshire Locality Lead at NHS Lincolnshire Clinical Commissioning Group.
“Our message to people is clear – having two vaccinations gives the best possible protection against covid. So please make sure you attend for your second vaccination when called, it really is vitally important,” adds Dr Baker.
This message is being backed by Lincolnshire’s Public Health team, as Andy Fox, Assistant Director of Public Health, explains: “We should all aim to maximise the protection we get against covid, and crucially the best way to do this is by having two doses of the vaccine. It is also very important that we all continue to follow the guidance around social distancing – hands, face, space, fresh air – as this will also help to prevent transmission, in addition to helping maximise protection.”
If you know of someone else, perhaps a family member or friend, who is due to attend for their second vaccination, you are asked to encourage them to do so when they are called.
Second doses of both available vaccines will be administered towards the end of the recommended vaccine dosing schedule of 12 weeks. This will maximise the number of people getting the vaccine and therefore receiving protection.
The CCG says the success of the vaccination programme across the country can be seen in the reduction in hospitalisations and deaths from covid, with at least 6,100 deaths prevented in people aged 70 and over in England up to the end of February.
There are two ways that your second dose appointment will be made:
1. For some people your appointment will have been made when you attended for your first vaccination and the date and time will have been noted on your vaccine record card – please bring this card with you when you attend your second dose appointment.
2. If you were not given an appointment for your second dose at your first appointment this will be made and you will be contacted near to when your second dose is due - this is usually around the eleventh week point or between 77-84 days. If you are not contacted by this point please get in touch with your GP so that your second appointment can be arranged. Please do not contact them before this time as they will not be able to help. Please remember to take your vaccine record card to your second dose appointment.
In most cases the interval between the first and second vaccinations is around 12 weeks. If it is a little later than this you will still be protected and it is not a cause for concern, says the CCG. If you are unwell, it is better to wait until you have recovered to have your vaccine, but you should try to have it as soon as possible.