It’s not too late to protect yourself against COVID-19
As we head into the autumn and winter months, when viruses of all types are more common, we’ll need to do all we can to protect lives, livelihoods and the NHS.
That’s why I want to let everyone who has not had their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine know that there’s still plenty of opportunity to receive it.
The COVID-19 booster vaccine programme has also started in Barnsley, to protect the most vulnerable in our borough.
Why is it important to get the vaccine?
The COVID-19 vaccine helps reduce the rates of serious illness, so getting both doses will protect you as well as helping to protect your family, friends and the wider borough. We’ll never know exactly who they are, but thank goodness there are scores of people walking around Barnsley who are still alive because they were vaccinated.
Even if you consider the risk of severe COVID-19 to be low due to being fairly fit and healthy, the long-term consequences can be quite serious if you do catch the virus, and sadly too many young, previously fit and healthy unvaccinated people, have died as a result of covid across the world. Others are experiencing longer term health conditions, even if their initial illness wasn’t too bad.
Multiple studies show COVID-19 vaccines are highly effective at preventing serious illness and death and side-effects are rare. Most common side effects do not last long and include a sore arm from the injection, feeling tired or achy, or a headache.
As well as the health protection benefits, the vaccine can also help us get back to the things we’ve missed out on such as attending large scale events and foreign travel.
I’ve already had COVID-19, should I still get the vaccine?
My answer to this is 100 percent yes!
We know that your body will produce a better and stronger antibody response if you have the vaccine than if you get the infection naturally. There is no evidence of any safety concerns from vaccinating anyone with a past history of COVID-19 infection, or with detectable COVID-19 antibody, so people who have had COVID-19 (whether confirmed or suspected) can still receive the vaccine. Indeed, it is likely that the combination of previous natural infection plus vaccination will give you even stronger immunity.
People currently unwell and experiencing COVID-19 symptoms should not receive the vaccine until at least four weeks after they have recovered.
Where and how can I get the vaccine?
If you are aged over 18 you can book your initial COVID-19 vaccination through the NHS booking service at nhs.uk/covidvaccine or call 119 free of charge, anytime between 7am and 11pm seven days a week.
There are also a number of walk-in clinics for first doses, which you might find more convenient. We share details of these in advance on our social media accounts and you can also find out what’s coming up at barnsleyccg.nhs.uk
Second doses can be booked online or by calling 119.
I understand that there are a number of reasons, you might not have had your vaccine yet – from convenience and the time available to you to concerns about things like vaccine development time and reported side effects.
If you do have any concerns, I urge you to have a look at trustworthy information available at barnsleyccg.nhs.uk and nhs.uk