Cllr Paul Bettison, OBE, Leader of Bracknell Forest Council, said:
As we mark the end of September, we welcome in October and the new season. But while the new season brings with it the beautiful autumnal colours, it also brings flu and cold season, which we need to face on top of the current pandemic.
We are lucky to have our NHS which offers us the fantastic vaccine programmes to protect us. The flu vaccine programme will be launching soon, and eligible people will be invited to book their appointment. Having spent the majority of last winter in lockdown, we need to do all we can to protect ourselves from these seasonal illnesses. Whether that is by taking up the offer of a flu vaccine, maintaining good hand hygiene with regular hand washing, or staying at home when feeling unwell. If we all play our part, we can protect ourselves and our loved ones.
In addition to the flu vaccine, the COVID-19 booster vaccine programme has now launched. This will see the initial cohorts who were first to receive their COVID-19 vaccines being invited for their booster. The NHS will contact eligible people when it’s their turn to have the booster jab, asking them to book in. This will be at least six months after they received their second dose.
Those who have not yet had their first or second dose, can still book their appointment or attend one of the walk-in clinics. Currently around 85 per cent of residents in Bracknell Forest have had their first dose, with 78 per cent having had both doses. We urge anyone who has not yet received their vaccines to take up the offer. The vaccine not only offers protection against becoming seriously ill with COVID-19, but also reduces the risk of spreading the virus to others and developing long COVID. Details of how to book an appointment can be found on the Bracknell Forest Council website.
While our 12 to 15 year olds are being offered the vaccine through the school vaccine programme, we are still urging 16 and 17 year olds who are yet to receive their COVID vaccine, to visit one of the walk-in clinics at the Waitrose vaccination site. Details of the clinics can be found on the vaccination page of our website.
So, let’s all work together to get Bracknell Forest vaccinated and give everyone the greatest protection against COVID-19 and other winter illnesses.