Published: 13:09, 16 August 2021
| Updated: 13:47, 16 August 2021
New plans have been unveiled for the rollout of a coronavirus booster jab for more than one million Kent residents next month.
The Kent and Medway Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has laid out next steps to be taken to deliver the third phase of the Covid vaccination programme across the 13 districts, including Medway.
It comes as the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JVCI) recently published a paper setting out the proposals and guidance, which includes next stage of the Covid-19 vaccination programme.
Paula Wilkins, who is the CCG's chief nurse, said: "We have been advised that any potential booster programme should begin in September 2021.
"In order to maximise protection in those who are most vulnerable to serious COVID-19 ahead of the winter months."
Her comments were published in a Kent NHS report last week, which covered the logistics of the vaccine distribution over the autumn.
Around 65% of the county's 1.9million residents have received at least one dose of the Pfzier or AstraZeneca jab over the last eight months.
The 1.25million inoculations have been carried out from large vaccination centres, community pharmacies and hospital hubs.
However a total of 686,809 people living in Kent have yet to receive their second jab, according to the CCG.
Meanwhile, booster jabs will be offered to vulnerable groups living in the county from September. This will be divided into two stages.
The first stage will include all residents aged 70 and over; clinically vulnerable adults aged 16 and over; elderly care home residents and frontline health and social care staff.
The second will be deployed to all adults aged 50 and over and adults aged 16 to 49 who are in a Covid at-risk group.
NHS bosses say around 1.265million residents are eligible for a second dose in Kent.
They have also said that lessons have been learnt from phases one and two as they target "hard to reach" groups in local communities through faith leaders, charities and specific minority groups.
Pop up clinics will continue to be held in mosques, churches, homeless hostels and travellers sites.
In her report, Ms Wilkins adds: "Phase three will also involve encouraging the identified groups to take up second doses for those who have not come forward, in addition to providing booster doses in all the groups.
"This might require the inequalities team to work with GPs when contacting patients to encourage them to have the vaccination, and using specific skills to hold difficult conversations."
Future rollout arrangements will be debated during a virtual meeting involving a panel of Kent GPs on Thursday from 10am.