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Staff COVID-19 booster vaccination programme: what you need to know

Nurse in Wales becomes one of the first people in the UK to receive a booster vaccine
Orthopaedic nurse Ewa Syczuk receives the booster vaccination for COVID-19

Nurse in Wales becomes one of the first people in the UK to receive a booster vaccine

A nurse who was seriously ill with COVID-19 in 2020 has become one of the first people in the UK to receive a booster vaccine.

Orthopaedic nurse Ewa Syczuk, who works at Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board in North Wales, was left unable to work for six months after contracting the virus during the first wave.

Front-line health and care staff among priority groups

On Thursday she became the first person in Wales to have a third vaccine dose as part of the booster programme, in which front-line health and social care staff are among the priority groups.

Nurse in Wales becomes one of the first people in the UK to receive a booster vaccine

Orthopaedic nurse Ewa Syczuk receives the booster vaccination for COVID-19
Orthopaedic nurse Ewa Syczuk receives a booster vaccination

A nurse who was seriously ill with COVID-19 in 2020 has become one of the first people in the UK to receive a booster vaccine.

Orthopaedic nurse Ewa Syczuk, who works at Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board in North Wales, was left unable to work for six months after contracting the virus during the first wave.

Front-line health and care staff among priority groups

On Thursday she became the first person in Wales to have a third vaccine dose as part of the booster programme, in which front-line health and social care staff are among the priority groups.

Ms Syczuk urged all eligible people to take part in the programme. Recalling her illness, she said: ‘I was very, very ill and was very fortunate. I thought I was going to die. There are two weeks I can’t remember – my partner said he had to remind me to breathe.

‘A month after I got better from being ill, I could still only manage about 500 steps then I’d have to spend the rest of the day in bed.’

An estimated 4.5 million UK residents in the priority groups will be eligible for a booster over the coming weeks. The majority of health and care staff will be offered a third vaccination via hospital hubs.

Who is eligible to have the COVID-19 booster?

In line with advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation, boosters are being offered to people most vulnerable to serious infection ahead of winter. These include:

  • People living in residential care homes for older adults.
  • Adults aged 50 or over.
  • Front-line health and social care workers.
  • All those aged 16-49 with underlying health conditions that put them at higher risk of severe COVID-19, and adult carers.
  • Adult household contacts of immunosuppressed individuals.

When will I be eligible to have the booster jab?

It must be at least six months since your second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine before you can have a booster.

Where are vaccinations taking place?

They are being delivered via hospital hubs, with GP surgery-led local vaccination services to follow.

Which vaccine will I be offered?

Probably the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, regardless of which vaccine you received for your first two doses. Data shows this vaccine provides a stronger booster response. Alternatively, a half dose of the Moderna vaccine may be offered.

If these vaccines are unsuitable (for example, due to allergies) the AstraZeneca vaccine may be considered for those who have had it before.

Will this affect the timing of my flu vaccination?

NHS England guidance on booster jabs states that the COVID-19 booster vaccine should be administered with the flu vaccine for front-line workers wherever possible.


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