As we head into the trickier winter months, I wanted to update you on the strength of Orpington's vaccine shield, which will protect our community from coronavirus.
Nearly a year ago, the NHS administered the first vaccines to protect against coronavirus at hospitals across the country, including the Princess Royal University Hospital in Orpington.
Since then, the NHS has delivered 160,887 vaccine doses in the Orpington constituency. Here's the breakdown:
70,908 people have received their first dose. That's about 90 per cent of people locally who are eligible for the vaccine (aged 12 and over).
65,713 people have received their second dose. This means about 84 per cent of eligible people locally are fully vaccinated (aged 16 and over).
24,266 people have received their booster jab. That's about 64 per cent of all over-50s locally.
Who is eligible for a coronavirus vaccine?
The NHS is offering a coronavirus vaccine to anyone aged over 16. Once you have received your first dose, you will be invited for a second dose eight weeks later to strengthen your protection. The NHS is offering all children aged 12 to 15 a first dose of the vaccine.
Some children will be offered a second dose if either:
they live with someone who is more likely to get infections (such as someone who has HIV, has had a transplant or is having specific treatments for cancer, lupus, or rheumatoid arthritis)
they have a condition that means they're at high risk of getting seriously ill from coronavirus.
If an adult or a child has a weakened immune system, the NHS will contact you to offer you a third vaccine dose. This is not a booster jab. Book your appointment now.
Who is eligible for a booster vaccine? The evidence suggests that the protection vaccines offer can wane over time. That's why the NHS is offering eligible people a booster jab. You can book your booster dose online if it's been five months (152 days) since you had your second dose, and you are:
aged 40 and over
aged 16 and over with a health condition that puts you at high risk from coronavirus
a frontline health or social care worker
You will be offered appointment dates from 6 months after the date of your second dose.