Leading local GP issues Covid-19 booster jab reminder

A leading local GP has reminded people who have not yet had their Covid-19 top-up booster jab that vaccination centres are ready and waiting for them in south west London.

Dr Vasa Gnanapragasam’s reminder comes after the NHS began the latest phase of its Covid-19 vaccination programme in March, offering people aged 75 and over, older adult care home residents and those who are immunosuppressed another booster dose of the vaccine.

Recent research from the UK Health Security Agency showed that the NHS booster programme has helped prevent around 186,000 hospitalisations since mid-December.

Dr Vasa Gnanapragasam​, the GP lead for Merton, said: “Coronavirus is still around us and so getting the spring booster will protect you and your family from becoming seriously ill. Covid-19 may affect you more seriously if you are aged over 75, 12 and over and with a weakened immune system, or If you live in a care home. Book your spring booster today and enjoy the summer.”

You can watch the video message from Dr Gnanapragasam​:

Dr Salman Waqar, GP and Vice President of the British Islamic Medical Association, said: “As we continue to learn to live with COVID, it’s equally important that we retain good practices, taking all reasonable steps to protect our health so we can carry on with our lives, doing what we love.

“For the most vulnerable among us including older people and those with a weakened immune system, this means they may need extra protection from the COVID-19 Spring booster vaccine. I am also acutely aware uptake of the vaccine is lower in some communities including people of Pakistani and Bangladeshi heritage so I strongly advise people to get vaccinated against COVID – whether they need a first, second or booster dose.”

Dr Tony Burch, Trustee Age UK London said: “We would urge all older Londoners who are eligible to take up the offer of a COVID-19 Spring booster vaccine, particularly those from traditionally underserved communities to ensure they have the maximum possible level of protection as we go into the summer and beyond.

“If you have any questions, we encourage you to contact your GP or go to a walk-in clinic where you can get advice and find out all you need to know.”

Anthony Cunliffe, GP and Clinical Adviser for Macmillan Cancer Support said: “Getting a COVID-19 booster can be life-changing for immunocompromised people living with cancer, providing individuals with increased protection from the virus and reducing their risk of being admitted to hospital. We’d encourage all those eligible to book their spring booster as soon as possible.

“Your GP or organisations like Macmillan can help if you have any questions or concerns.”

Spring booster jab appointments can be booked quickly and conveniently via the NHS Booking Service or phoning 119. Londoners can also find their nearest walk-in clinics and head to one.