Darlington residents encouraged to book winter jabs
Darlington health leads are encouraging residents to boost their flu and booster vaccinations as soon as possible, in support of the national NHS BOOST DAY campaign.
Today (Thursday 2 December) will see the national ‘BOOST DAY’ campaign taking over social media and dominating headlines to promote the uptake of winter vaccines ahead of the festive season.
The aim of the campaign is to drive mass awareness and momentum around the importance of boosting your immunity this winter.
Over 50% of Darlington residents over 50 have had their booster dose and over 20,000 flu vaccinations have been given at the town’s winter vaccination hub, The Old Exchange, since it opened in early October.
Now, even more people will become eligible to get their COVID boosters and sooner, with new guidance dropping the minimum wait between second and third dose to three months from six months and the age cohort down to all over 18s and over 16s with a long-term condition.
Councillor Kevin Nicholson, cabinet member for health and housing at Darlington Borough Council, said: “It’s fantastic to see the uptake of flu and booster vaccinations in Darlington, with thousands of our residents having already taken up the offer to protect themselves and their families this winter.
“However, now that the eligibility cohort has widened to invite thousands more people across the borough to get their vaccines, it is essential that we do everything we can to support the NHS programme.
“We’re supporting the BOOST DAY campaign to raise awareness of the importance to boost your immunity this winter, especially for those who will be spending time with older and vulnerable family members or friends over the holidays.”
In addition to the national COVID vaccination programme changes, some restrictions have returned as protective measures from rising cases and the recently discovered Omicron variant.
Penny Spring, director of public health at Darlington Borough Council, said: “Whilst we are still awaiting research into the new variant, what we do know so far is that the vaccine is still the best protection we have against all variants of COVID-19.
“We also know that the flu vaccine is the best way to protect yourself and those around you from becoming seriously unwell with the virus. By getting both vaccinations as soon as you’re able to do so, you can help us to keep our communities safe and enjoy a safer festive period with loved ones.”
To find out more about the winter vaccination programme in Darlington, visit www.darlington.gov.uk/wintervaccinations.