More than 3.2 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have now been given across Cheshire and Merseyside. This means just over 80% per cent of the subregion’s population have now had at least one dose.
As figures for the Delta variant of COVID-19 continue to rise across Cheshire and Merseyside, all adults are being encouraged to get the vaccine through the national ‘Grab A Jab’ campaign – whether they have been invited or not.
The number of cases per 100,00 stands at 505.42 as an average for Cheshire and Merseyside for the last seven days (as of July 20).
Younger Cohort Announcement
The Joint Committee on Vaccine and Immunisation (JCVI) has recently advised that children at increased risk of serious COVID-19 disease should be offered the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. This includes children aged 12 to 15 with severe neurodisabilities, Down’s syndrome, immunosuppression and multiple or severe learning disabilities.
The JCVI also recommends that children and young people aged 12 to 17 who live with an immunosuppressed person should be offered the vaccine. This is to indirectly protect their immunosuppressed household contacts, who are at higher risk of serious disease from COVID-19 and may not generate a full immune response to vaccination.
Under existing advice, young people aged 16 to 17 with underlying health conditions which put them at higher risk of serious COVID-19 should have already been offered vaccination.
This does not mean that all children of 12 and above should be vaccinated at this time.
The JCVI is not currently advising routine vaccination of children outside of these groups, based on the current evidence.
Operationally, it is now considered reasonable to allow a lead-in time to offer vaccination to children who are within 3 months of their 18th birthday to ensure good uptake in newly turned 18-year-olds.
Flu Vaccine and COVID Booster Planning
Discussions are ongoing across Cheshire and Merseyside about the potential to offer both the annual Flu jab and a COVID-19 booster vaccination in the Autumn.
From September, the primary focus of the vaccination programme will shift towards booster doses and start to run alongside the seasonal flu programme and planning for this is underway.
Interim advice from the JVCI, suggests that “early evidence supports the delivery of both vaccines at the same time where appropriate”.
The “Evergreen” offer will still be in place for anyone yet to receive a first dose for any reason, and also to provide a second dose for all those who received first jab over the summer.
The Cheshire and Merseyside Health and Care Partnership leads on the subregion’s COVID-19 vaccination programme, to find out more, visit: https://www.cheshireandmerseysidepartnership.co.uk/our-work/covid-19-vaccination/.