Vaccine Update – Take up amongst young people
All of Hertfordshire’s 16- and 17-year-olds are being offered a dose of the Pfizer vaccine, and the great news is that more than half of them have already been vaccinated.
A single dose will provide 80% protection against hospitalisation and protection could be even higher as younger people generally respond better to vaccines. Some will have already had COVID- 19, but this doesn’t mean that they don’t need to be vaccinated: it means that they will have an even better immune response to the vaccine. The JCVI will provide further guidance on whether a second vaccine should be offered to this age group in future.
All our large vaccination centres are now seeing 16 to 17-year-olds and they are operating a ‘walk-in’ service with details regularly updated on https://covid.healthierfuture.org.uk. 16- to 17-year-olds do not need the consent of their parents or guardians to have the vaccine, but they can bring a parent, carer or friend if they’d like. Anyone who is anxious will be well looked after and staff will be happy to help with any questions that a young person might have.
If you know a young person aged 16 or 17, please encourage them to get their vaccination as soon as possible this week– so that we can help reduce the distress and disruption COVID can cause.
Third vaccination dose planned for immunosuppressed people
This week the JCVI advised that a third dose of the vaccine should be offered to people aged 12 and over who were severely immunosuppressed at the time of their first or second dose. Severely immunosuppressed people include those with leukaemia, advanced HIV or those who have had recent organ transplants. The third vaccine is recommended ‘to top up their immune response’ as these people are more likely to be severely ill if they get covid-19. The NHS will directly contact you if you are eligible for a third dose.
More details will be released in the next few weeks.
Norovirus and handwashing
Norovirus, often known as the ‘winter vomiting bug’, is very easily transmitted from an infected person to others and can have a huge impact on health services. To protect yourselves, the community and the NHS, please keep washing your hands regularly for 20 seconds with soap and water. Handwashing with soap and water is the best option for hand hygiene – with sanitiser as a back-up if no soap and water is available.
Norovirus can cause sickness, diarrhoea and vomiting. Older people, those generally unwell and young people are more at risk of being affected by norovirus. If you have been sick or have diarrhoea, you should stay away from work or school for at least 2 days after your symptoms have stopped, and not visit hospitals or care homes until you have completely recovered.
Walk-In Vaccination Clinics
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