Health charities have come into collaboration with the government and the NHS to promote and advance vaccine update, as UK hits its next milestone in the vaccine rollout
16 leading health charities, including Cancer Research UK and Diabetes UK, are providing information and reassurance to their members through their trusted networks to get more people vaccinated.
More than 50.8 million first doses and 46.2 million second doses have been received across the UK
As the UK hits 16 million top-up jabs in total, being vaccinated over winter has become vital as data has shown that the immunity to the coronavirus weakens after six months.
The latest evidence from the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) shows that protection against symptomatic disease falls from 65%, up to three months after the second dose, to 45% six months after the second dose for the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, and from 90% to 65% for the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine.
Protection against hospitalisation falls from 95% to 75% for Oxford/AstraZeneca and 99% to 90% for Pfizer/BioNTech.
Encouraging vulnerable people to get their COVID-19 vaccines, the partnership brings together 16 charities who will work to encourage their members to get their first, second and booster doses, as well as their third primary course dose if they’re immunocompromised.
The charities participating in the partnership include:
- African Caribbean Leukaemia Trust
- Anthony Nolan
- British Heart Foundation
- British Liver Trust
- Cancer Research UK
- Carers UK
- Diabetes UK
- Epilepsy Action
- Epilepsy Society
- Kidney Care UK
- Kidney Research UK
- Parkinson’s UK
- Rethink Mental Illness
- Sickle Cell Society
- Terrence Higgins Trust
The organisations will additionally support people to get their flu vaccines, as the weather turns colder and people are spending more time indoors mixing with family and friends, becoming more susceptive to transmitting and contracting COVID-19.
Those who are vulnerable to severe illness are more prone to worse cases of COVID-19 and flu, therefore the government and the NHS have joined this partnership to boost safety against the virus.
People aged 40 and over, health and social care workers, or those aged 16 and over with an underlying health condition that puts them at greater risk of severe COVID-19 illness are now eligible for booster vaccinations, provided it has been at least six months since their second dose.
National Booking Service are now open to people aged 40-49 for their booster jab, as well as young people aged 16-17, given they aren’t medically at risk.
This entails that people who have had their booster vaccine by 11 December will have very high protection against COVID-19 by Christmas Day.
Following a rise in cases around wintertime, people who are eligible for a booster jab are advised to take the vaccine soon as possible to protect themselves.
Vaccines help to reduce the pressure on the NHS
Vaccines have proved to give high levels of protection, however, immunity reduces over time, this immunity decrease will particularly effect older adults and at-risk groups.
Although the vaccine effectiveness against severe disease remains high, a small change can generate a major shift in hospital admissions. For example, a change from 95% to 90% protection against hospitalisation would lead to doubling of admissions in those vaccinated.
Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid said: “I am hugely grateful to all the charities who are backing our vaccine campaign and supporting some of the most vulnerable in our society.
“With winter approaching it’s so important that those who are at risk from the virus are protected in order to keep themselves safe. The vaccines are safe and effective and are helping us build a wall of defence against COVID-19. Please come forward for yours as soon as you can.”
Vaccines Minister Maggie Throup said: “This partnership with health charities is vital to allow us to reach the groups most in need of a COVID-19 vaccine to keep them safe from the virus.
“The fight against COVID-19 through the vaccines is a national mission and it’s brilliant to see so many different organisations step up to help get this message to those most at-risk. If you’re yet to get your first, second or booster dose, please do come forward for the jab as soon as possible.”
Helen Walker, Chief Executive of Carers UK added: “Unpaid carers continue to carefully manage the risk of the virus to themselves and to their older and disabled relatives which can often be hard work.
“From our contact with carers, we know that getting the vaccine has not only increased their immunity, it has also brought a sense of relief and decreased stress. As we head towards Christmas, we know that this can be a busy time, particularly if you’re providing unpaid care to an ill or disabled relative or friend.
“We encourage any unpaid carers who haven’t yet had their boosters to come forward and get one as soon as they can, to further protect themselves and their loved ones.”
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