Vaccinations – prospects for 2022?

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The well-oiled machine at Tilling Green

With the government resisting any new restrictions for England in the run up to Christmas, while saying that “it will act if required, as infections rise”, there was pressure to deliver booster vaccinations.

Rye Vaccination Centre helped the national effort, as the public were called to come forward to protect themselves against the new variant, Omicron.

In an effort to encourage more jabs, on Boxing Day the government sent out millions of text messages urging people to “get boosted”. The message said that: “Every adult needs a Covid-19 booster vaccine to protect against Omicron. Get your Covid-19 vaccine or booster.” Clearly if you have had a booster then the message could be ignored.

Vaccinations in Rye will start again in the new year on Tuesday, January 4. In Rye we prefer everyone to book as demand is likely to remain significant.

A second booster?

Scientists are cautiously optimistic that indications from early data on the Omicron variant show that Covid is losing its power, despite the high infection figures.

However, the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) has reported that protection offered by booster vaccines against the Omicron variant begins to wane after 10 weeks. It suggests that the future timing and composition of a booster vaccine, including a possible second booster is likely to be determined on the basis of further observational studies.

For England, the chief medical officer has suggested that it is too early to decide about whether a future annual Covid vaccination campaign to protect will be necessary.

Scientists suggest that asymptomatic infections and mild illnesses in vaccinated people will probably continue as variants continue to emerge. Counts of hospitalisations and deaths are likely to be more important in assessing the overall impact of the pandemic rather than the overall numbers of cases.

It is hoped that vaccines continue to be largely effective at preventing severe illness, but we might all have to learn to live with these illnesses, just as we have learned to live with influenza.

The Rye vaccination centre led by Clarity Chemists plans to continue to deliver vaccines. Details of the operation can be found @ryepfizer.

Image Credits: Anthony Kimber .

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