FOLLOWING the recent announcement that all eligible people will be offered a COVID-19 booster jab by the end of the year, GP practices across Dorset are stepping up their efforts to deliver as many life-saving vaccinations as they can.

Bookings for booster jabs are now open to every adult over 18 who has had a second dose of the vaccine at least three months ago, with everyone eligible being offered their jab by the end of the year.

In order to achieve this, some local practices who are delivering booster vaccinations may be required to postpone or re-schedule routine and non-urgent primary care appointments.

Dr Forbes Watson is a local GP and chair of NHS Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG). He said “Delivering the COVID-19 vaccination programme is a huge task and everyone in primary care is working extremely hard to get as many jabs in arms as we can before the end of the year.

"Unfortunately this does mean that some non-urgent appointments may be moved in order to help give us capacity to run clinics.

“We absolutely recognise that people may have concerns, however we would like to reassure patients that anyone with an urgent need will still be seen, whether this be in person or remotely, for example over the phone or video call.

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“This is a very challenging time for everyone working in healthcare and I would personally like to thank everyone for their help and dedication throughout the year, at the same time thanking everyone in Dorset for their patience and understanding of the demands we face.”

For mild conditions, such as colds and flu, your local community pharmacy will be able to provide medicines and guidance, and NHS 111 can offer advice if you’re unsure of where to go.

If you are in an emergency or life-threatening situation, please call 999.