Head of Northamptonshire’s COVID-19 vaccination programme warns of dangers of being unvaccinated

The Director of Northamptonshire’s COVID-19 Vaccination Programme, Chris Pallot, is urging people to get vaccinated across the county as case rates continue to rise.

More than 1.46 million COVID-19 vaccines have been administered in Northamptonshire since the start of the programme in December 2020, including over 385,000 boosters, but more people are being called to come forward as the impact of Omicron continues to spread and drive up COVID-19 hospital admissions.

Hospitals across the East Midlands are reporting a steep increase in admissions because of COVID-19, and although numbers in intensive care units (ICU) currently remain stable, around 70 percent of those patients in the region’s ICUs with COVID-19 are unvaccinated.

Evidence shows that people who are not vaccinated are also up to eight times more likely to be hospitalised than those fully vaccinated.

Chris Pallot said vaccination and booster jabs are by far the best way of preventing serious illness from COVID-19:

“UK Health Security Agency data shows that two doses of a COVID vaccine are not enough to stop people becoming unwell from Omicron, but a booster prevents around 75% of people getting any COVID-19 symptoms.

“Let me make this clear, Omicron is not mild for everybody. Those who have no immunity to COVID are at risk of becoming very ill indeed. Please do not take a risk when it comes to your health or the health of your loved ones.

“If you haven’t had your first dose, second dose or booster yet then it really is time to come forward. We have a huge number of appointment slots available across Northamptonshire which you can book via www.nhs.uk/covidvaccine, as well as a number of walk-in sites where no booking is necessary.”

This week, Northamptonshire’s mobile vaccination site will be at Kettering Town Football Club in Burton Latimer on Wednesday 12 January and Thursday 13 January from 9am to 6pm.

A new vaccine walk-in site has also been launched this week at Kettering Rugby Club on Waverley Road this Thursday 13 and Saturday 15 January 10am to 6pm, and from 10am to 4pm on Sunday 16 January. This new site will also be publishing slots on the National Booking Service for patients to pre-book appointments.

Both sites are open for boosters for anyone aged 18 years and above who had their second dose at least three months ago.  First and second doses for anyone aged 12 or over and third primary doses (if eligible) are also available. 

These sites are in addition to dozens more vaccination sites open across the county for appointments, drop-ins, or both – including in Corby, Thrapston, Northampton, Rushden, Towcester, Kettering and Wellingborough.

Appointments can be booked online at www.nhs.uk/covidvaccination or by calling 119.

A full list of drop-in sessions available around the county without an appointment can be found online at www.northamptonshire.gov.uk/covidvaccine. As well as offering the booster jab to everyone who is entitled to one, most drop-in clinics offer first, second and third primary doses to those eligible. Please check eligibility criteria before attending a drop-in session.

Chris continues: “Vaccinations are critical to protecting ourselves, not just from COVID-19 but from the Omicron variant. If you haven’t had your vaccine or booster yet, please do not delay getting yourself protected any longer. Delaying could potentially be very dangerous.”