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Posted on Oct 28 2021 by Fiona Bailey

Dr Sanjith Kamath debuted his first Chronicle and Echo column in last week's edition where he chose to tackle the subject of COVID booster vaccines and the flu jab.

He wrote: "As winter draws in, many people are still questioning whether they should be rolling their sleeves up for their COVID-19 booster and flu jab or keeping their cuffs firmly buttoned up.

"For those who have chosen not to have the COVID-19 vaccine it is not too late. With the colder months fast approaching we will all be spending more time indoors, around friends, family and colleagues so there is a risk, if not managed properly, that COVID-19 could increase."

St Andrew's Healthcare has already launched its COVID top up and flu jab programme and with COVID rates in Northamptonshire three times higher than the national average, Dr Kamath is recommending everyone has what it being offered to them.  

He said: "All attention is now on top ups or booster doses which are being offered to people who are more vulnerable to the virus. Six months or more after receiving their second dose, everyone aged 50 and over, frontline health and social care workers and those aged between 16 and 49 with an underlying health condition will be invited for a booster vaccine.

"All staff at St Andrew’s will be receiving their COVID-19 top up vaccine where appropriate and they will also be offered the flu jab too. The flu vaccine is a safe and effective vaccine, which is offered every year on the NHS to help protect people at risk of getting seriously ill from flu."

According to NHS England, more people are likely to get flu this winter as fewer people will have built up natural immunity to it during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dr Kamath said: "If you get flu and COVID-19 at the same time, research shows you're more likely to be seriously ill, but being vaccinated against both conditions will provide protection for you and those around you."

Staff at St Andrew's are being reminded they can only have their COVID booster six months (or 182 days) after their 2nd COVID vaccine. 

Those who accept a vaccine appointment, must turn up as no shows are unacceptable and a waste of resources. 

For anyone who tests positive for COVID, you must wait four weeks before the  booster jab.