Philip Dunne MP has praised local GP practices for their swift organisation to offer third dose booster vaccinations, as the government publishes its plan to tackle covid this winter.
The South West Shropshire Primary Care Network (PCN) has already begun offering a third dose vaccine immunocompromised patients at higher risk, and are beginning the third booster vaccination in line with the government’s winter plan.
For those eligible to receive a first and second dose vaccine who have not yet taken up the offer, Station Drive Surgery in Ludlow runs a walk in clinic every Tuesday between 5pm and 6pm.
Mr Dunne said:
“Our local GPs and staff have gone above and beyond, throughout the pandemic, to ensure the rapid rollout of the vaccine in South Shropshire, keeping our community safe. I am very impressed by the way in which South West Shropshire PCN have planned ahead for the winter, and are able to start offering booster vaccines so quickly.
“This is a crucial aspect of the government’s Winter Plan, and community protection through vaccination will be essential if we are to ensure we can stick to Plan A, and avoid more intrusive measures to curtail the spread of covid during the winter.”
The Government has published details of how it intends to mitigate the impact of covid over the winter months, through two plans – Plan A and Plan B.
As part of Plan A, the priority for the vaccination programme over the autumn and winter will be maximising uptake of the vaccine among those eligible but not yet vaccinated; offering booster doses to people who received their vaccination in Phase 1 of the vaccination programme (priority groups 1-9); and offering a first dose of vaccine to 12-15 year olds.
Plan B has been prepared as a contingency, should the NHS come under pressure or a new variant of concern emerges. It includes three aspects: clearly communicating the public that the risk level has changed, and with it the need to behave more cautiously; keeping the option to introduce mandatory vaccine-only covid status certification in certain settings; and legally mandating face coverings in certain settings.