Flu and COVID-19 autumn vaccine programmes brought forward

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Following news last week on the uptick in Covid-19 and specifically variant BA.2.86, first identified in the UK on 18 August, NHSE will bring forward both autumn vaccination programmes for flu and Covid-19.
The key concern appear to be around BA.2.86, a variant of Omicron (also known as BA.X and in some countries as Pirola). Views of what the impact will be are varied with some health leaders reporting that we will be in a Covid-19 wave within 4 weeks, but others stating that the variant will not lead to a significant rise in hospital admissions. Schools are going back this week, so this is the time when any lurking variant will begin to show.
Vaccinations will begin on 11 September 2023 in England with adult care home residents over the age of 65 and those most at risk to receive vaccines first. This includes health and social care staff and carers. Eligible people are urged to come forward for their jab as soon as they’re invited.
Vaccination teams will begin to contact providers to arrange visits and have been asked to ensure that all residents in care homes are vaccinated by 22 October. Providers must begin to get consent from residents, if they have not already. These teams will be encouraged to offer co-administration of COVID-19 and flu vaccines to both residents and staff where this is possible.
Local Booking Services will go live from 11 September for staff to book for vaccines (details to be clarified) and the National Booking Service will go live on 18 September.
Appointments can also be booked online on the NHS App, or by phoning 119.
More social care news in this week’s Wednesday digest