Confusion over vaccines: Third jab or booster and where can I get it?

A nurse administers the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine at Guy's Hospital in London, on the first d

You can call Suffolk and North East Essex Vaccination Service patient helpline – 0344 257 3961 – if you need help to book your vaccination appointment. - Credit: PA

Vulnerable residents in Suffolk have spoken about their confusion about where and what type of vaccine they should get. 

Patients who have been invited for a jab in Suffolk after having their first and second dose have complained there is still not enough information available for those without internet access.

Tony Feavearyear, 85, was invited for a third jab by Eye Health Centre on October 13 but after calling the NHS helpline 119, his doctor and Suffolk and North Essex's Covid vaccination line, he was still in the dark as to where to go.

Mr Feavearyear, who survived cancer, said: "I wanted it fairly quickly as it's my health. No one seems to know locally where to get an injection."

He also said that he felt there was a lot of confusion from his doctor and the NHS about what a ‘third dose’ and ‘booster’ meant. It was only after speaking with a friend that he discovered he could visit the walk-in clinic at Harleston where he had his jab on October 26. 

Suffolk heath leaders have urged those who had their second dose at least 190 days ago to come forward for their booster jab but this has also led to some confusion. 

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) advises that the booster vaccine dose should be offered no earlier than six months after having the second dose of the vaccination to those living in residential care homes for older adults; all adults aged 50 years or over; and frontline health and social care workers and volunteers, according to Suffolk and North East Essex Vaccination Service.  

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The NHS will contact those eligible for the booster as they reach the six month mark.

Some immunosuppressed patients and their households are eligible for a third vaccination sooner - just eight weeks after their second dose. Health leaders have said this is not the same as a booster. Those eligible will also be contacted by their GP or hospital consultant and offered an appointment.

Belstead Hills Pharmacy, Sheldrake Drive, Ipswich is open 12pm to 1pm until November 5 for walk-ins, and Thurston Pharmacy on November 4 from 10am to 4pm.

Appointments can be booked on the NHS website or by calling 119. You can also call Suffolk and North East Essex Vaccination Service patient helpline – 0344 257 3961 – if you need help to book your vaccination appointment.