With more people receiving their COVID-19 vaccinations every day, there is every reason to be optimistic about the virus getting under control and case rates coming down. But new data also shows a disappointing trend with significant numbers of people missing their second dose. This may be because the surgery has been unable to contact them but increasingly it seems to be that people are unwilling to attend for their vaccine.
When we call people to book, we are told they are “too busy to get vaccinated”, their belief that catching Covid isn’t the end of the world for young, fit people. We strongly advise people to get vaccinated - even young, fit people can become unwell with Covid and many of those suffering from “Long Covid” are younger patients
Why it’s so important to get both doses?
There are a number of reasons why the second dose is so important.
1. Protecting yourself against COVID-19
Probably the biggest reason for getting both doses is easy and obvious: better protection against COVID-19. With such high rates of effectiveness, getting both doses better protects you against not just getting COVID-19, but from serious illness and hospitalization as a result of getting sick. Also prevents you getting “long Covid-19 syndrome”.
2. Protecting your community
Just as important, the more protected you are against COVID-19, the more your family and friends are protected, too. And this is especially important when you consider your community as a whole.
Not everyone is getting the same level of immunity after their first dose. Even if everyone in your house has had their first dose, that doesn’t mean everyone has the same protection. By making sure everyone gets their second dose, we’re protecting ourselves, our families and our community.
3. The path to herd immunity
The more people who get both shots, the closer we get to herd immunity, too. “Herd immunity, or population/community immunity, is when a large part of the population has been vaccinated or has enough antibodies to resist the infection that it no longer spreads”
There are some concerns in relation to the high incidence of the Covid B.1.617.2 (so-called Indian) variant in neighbouring boroughs and the surge testing for Covid-19 that is being carried out. It does appear to spread more easily than the Kent variant (B.1.1.7), which was behind the UK's huge winter spike in infections.
Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines are highly effective after two doses. However, it takes 2 – 3 weeks post vaccination to develop immunity and the latest variant appears to be spreading more quickly locally than people are coming forward to be vaccinated.
The government brought forward the interval between vaccines for the over 50s and the clinically vulnerable from 12 to 8 weeks and the team at the Birch Hill Vaccination Centre is contacting people for their second dose now.
We are now inviting people over 30 years for their first dose. Please note that those under 40years old will have the Pfizer vaccine as per government advice.
If you, your friends, your neighbours or your family are overdue for your first or second vaccine and have yet to be contacted by us then please email us your details (Name. DOB and NHS number if you can) to firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone us on 07840 887 023
We will then get back to you as soon as we can