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Covid booster jabs 'go live' in Kent as more than one million in line to get third one


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Coronavirus booster jabs are now being rolled out for more than one million Kent and Medway residents.

Thousands will receive inoculations from GP surgeries, hospitals, large vaccine centres and community pharmacies across the 13 districts, including Medway.

More than a million people are set to ge the booster jab
More than a million people are set to ge the booster jab

Priority will be given towards most vulnerable groups, including those aged 70 or over, care home residents and frontline health and social care workers.

It is hoped the first stage of the rollout will be completed by November 1, followed by a second stage focusing on all those aged 50 or over.

Kent and Medway Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) will be overseeing the running of the booster jab programme which started on Friday.

A CCG spokesman says: "In Kent and Medway, the rollout began on Friday, with some clinics taking place over the weekend. More clinics will start to go-live during the next week."

Under this, the booster will be one jab, with Pfzier being the main vaccine supply in Kent and Medway, according to the CCG.

The third jab will be given out at Covid vaccination centres like this one. Photo: PA Media
The third jab will be given out at Covid vaccination centres like this one. Photo: PA Media

It has been confirmed by the UK government that the booster does not to be the same as the previous jabs, such as AstraZeneca.

Inoculations can only be administered at least six months after a person's second dose, according to the CCG.

A CCG spokesman added: "This means that although some people may sit within stage one of the booster rollout, they will need to wait until it has been six months since their second dose."

Vaccines will "predominantly" be available from Kent GPs and pharmacies, along with large vaccination centres and hubs in the seven main hospitals.

The programme will be open until all eligible patients are vaccinated. They will be contacted by their GP via letter, text message or phone call.

Frontline health and social care workers will also be offered the booster jab
Frontline health and social care workers will also be offered the booster jab

Ashford county Cllr Paul Bartlett (Con), KCC's health scrutiny chair, urged residents to be patient and wait for the NHS to contact them.

He told a panel of county councillors: "I got a text from my practice on Wednesday saying 'for heavens sake do not phone us about when you are going to get your booster'.

"I think that is an important message. We need to keep the switchboard free at GP surgeries for people with genuine need to book an appointment."

Meanwhile, residents who have not had a first or second vaccine continue to be encouraged to get vaccinated, namely young people, aged from 18 to 29.

Only 41% of residents, aged 18 to 29, have taken up both vaccines compared to over 90% of people living in the county's 13 districts, who are aged over 50.

Gravesend East county Cllr Jordan Meade (Con) has lobbied Kent's NHS to encourage youngsters to take up the vaccine during yesterday's online debate.

He said: "Despite the initial enthusiasm, I think it may be starting to run dry amongst young adults, particularly with regards to the second dose."

For a full list of walk-in clinics and more information on the vaccination rollout in Kent and Medway, click here.

For the latest coronavirus news and advice, click here.

Read more: All the latest news from Kent

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