Early signs of autumn Covid wave prompts vaccine drive

PUBLIC Health Wales (PHW) is urging those eligile to receive their Covid-19 booster jab with alerts circulating of early signs of a possible autumn wave of the virus.

The alert comes as community transmission, hospitalisations and deaths from Covid-19 have increased in recent weeks – early signs, PHW says, of a possible autumn wave.

Pregnant women, people aged 50+, those with a long-term health condition, and frontline health and social care workers are among those who are eligible for the Covid-19 booster vaccine.

PHW have said that it is important that those people who are eligible look out for their vaccine invitation.

“It will be sent to them by post from their local health board,” they said.

“They are strongly advised to take up the offer, and prioritise their appointment where possible.”

Last week, more than 100,000 people in Wales had their Covid-19 booster jab.

However, there remain people who haven’t attended their vaccine appointment or have postponed it.

Public Health Wales urge those people to prioritise getting their vaccine.

Health experts have said the Covid vaccine is the most effective way to prevent severe illness from Covid-19. Protection from previous Covid-19 vaccinations does reduce over time and therefore it is important that people get their vaccination when invited.

Dr Christopher Johnson, interim head of the Vaccine Preventable Disease Programme for Public Health Wales, said: “Although it is too early to say for certain, we are currently seeing the possible early signs of an autumn wave of Covid-19.

“While the proportion of severe infections is much lower compared to other stages of the pandemic, this pattern still remains concerning.

“While we have all been getting used to living with Covid, and while vaccination and overall population immunity are helping to keep serious illness at bay for most people, it is important that we do not become complacent. 

“Everyone eligible for the booster vaccine can make a significant contribution to slowing down transmission of Covid, protecting themselves, their community and the NHS, by taking up the offer of a vaccine.

“Even if people are busy or have other plans, it is important to prioritise getting your booster when your appointment letter comes.

“It’s also vital that those who are eligible take up the offer of a flu vaccine, to help protect themselves and others this winter.”

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