Shropshire Star

Covid booster campaign launches in Shropshire and people urged to top up protection

Almost a quarter of a million people in Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin can now book their autumn Covid vaccine online.

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Care home resident Julie Hayes receiving her vaccination from Linda Hart, Clinical Team Lead

It comes as the NHS steps up its winter vaccination programmes early in response to the risk of a new Covid variant.

Adults who are eligible for winter vaccines – including all people aged 65 and over, pregnant women and those with an underlying health condition – will also begin receiving invitations from the NHS to encourage them to get their Covid and flu jabs from this week.

Ellesmere House in Ellesmere was one of the first care homes to receive vaccinations this week, as NHS staff paid visits to residents and those who are housebound.

One resident, Julie Hayes, said: "To me I think it's silly if you don't [have the Covid Vaccine], because it's there, it's free, it's painless. There's absolutely nothing to it.”

NHS bosses have urged people to top up their protection, even if they have had a vaccine or been ill with flu or Covid-19 before, as immunity fades over time and viruses change each year.

Anyone eligible can book their Covid vaccinations via the NHS website, by downloading the NHS App, or by calling 119 for free if they can’t get online.

Service director with responsibility for Covid Vaccination in NHS Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin, Steve Ellis said: “Vaccines are our best protection against flu and Covid-19.

"I strongly encourage all eligible people to come forward for their lifesaving winter vaccines as soon as they can.

“The new Covid variant presents a new risk, but NHS staff locally are rising to the challenge once more to do all they can to protect the public.

“Those eligible can now easily book a Covid vaccine online – it takes just a few minutes and there are more sites than ever before offering the vaccine across the county.

"Please come forward as soon as you can to give yourself and your loved ones vital protection over the coming months.”

Covid vaccination for those aged under 18 will begin later in the year – the NHS will let eligible families know when this offer opens.

This year’s adult Covid and flu vaccination programme has been brought forward on the advice of scientists following the emergence of a new Covid-19 variant (BA.2.86), which has a high number of mutations.

To book a vaccine, visit the NHS National Booking Service at