It’s been 2 months since “Freedom Day” when social distancing restrictions were lifted completely in England (the other home nations have followed their own specific policies) and many people have been making the most of a much more “normal” way of life…
But what about those classed as clinically vulnerable?
Understandably, those classed as clinically vulnerable – many of whom are the types of patients we treat here at Air Physiotherapy – are much more nervous about being able to relax, especially with the disappointing news that vaccines are less effective against the Delta variant (which has become the most dominant variant in the UK, accounting for nearly all new cases) and that immunity from vaccines begins to wane after as little as 4-5 months, depending on which vaccine you’ve had. A ZOE COVID Study has suggested that those who received their vaccines in the first rollout will see their protection drop to 50% by Christmas.
This is why the JCVI has recommended a booster campaign for the extremely clinically vulnerable – which includes cancer patients, transplant recipients and those with immune diseases that affect their immune systems.
According to vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi the government is just waiting for scientists to sign off on the proposed plans before commencing with the programme.
Who will receive the booster vaccines?
Full details are yet to be released but it’s anticipated that the programme will likely follow the original pattern of prioritisation that we saw when the vaccine programme began.
- Stage 1: all adults aged 70+, frontline health and social care workers, elderly residents of care homes, adults aged 16 and over who are immuno-suppressed or considered clinically vulnerable.
- Stage 2: all adults aged 50+; those adults aged 16 to 49 identified as being in an influenza or Covid at-risk group; adult household contacts of immunosuppressed people.
What do I have to do to receive my booster?
The process will likely work much in the same way as it did before. According to Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid those who have been identified as being in need of the booster vaccine will be contacted as soon as possible so that their needs can be discussed and an appointment arranged for a third dose.
He has confirmed that the separate booster programme prioritising those most at risk from Covid-19 is still expected to commence in September.
What about social distancing?
It’s difficult to say exactly what , if any, measures will be imposed over the forthcoming winter months – unfortunately we’d need that ever-elusive crystal ball for that!
But as always, we’d recommend following what feels right for you, especially if you’re in the clinically vulnerable category. If continuing to wear a mask and maintaining social distancing makes you feel less anxious then that’s fine too. And remember to get both your booster and the flu vaccine when you’re invited.
If you’re clinically vulnerable we’re still here to help!
For those of our patients such as those with cystic fibrosis or COPD we’re still very much on hand to support you.
If you have a condition which means you are susceptible to chest infections; are prone to producing lots of mucus; or if you have recently been unwell with pneumonia, it is very important to ensure your lungs are kept clear and infection free. Our specialists at Air Physiotherapy are trained in identifying and prescribing the most appropriate airway clearance technique for you and helping you lead a healthy and active lifestyle – even as the pandemic continues to rumble on.