Vaccination clinics have opened across Dorset with those eligible encouraged to protect themselves from Covid-19.

In line with expert advice, people aged 75 and over by June 30, older adult care home residents and immunosuppressed people aged six months and over are entitled to a free vaccination.

Eligibility is similar to previous years but those with a weakened immune system are now eligible from six months instead of five years.

Martin Sale, lead pharmacist for the vaccination service in Dorset, said: “Your protection from Covid-19 fades over time, even if you have previously been vaccinated, so it’s important for anyone aged 75 and over or with a weakened immune system to come forward for a spring vaccine.

"This will top-up your protection and help you avoid serious illness or hospitalisation. If you are unsure if you are eligible check the NHS website, and during your appointment a healthcare professional will talk you through it and make sure it’s right for you.

“With plenty of appointments available for anyone who is eligible, make sure you get yours before the end of June to keep you healthy throughout the summer months. Our clinics tend to fill up quickly at first, so don’t be disheartened if you can’t get a booking straight away – check again later.”

In Dorset there are more than 300,000 appointments available until the end of June, with the majority available at pharmacies, community hospital sites and GP practices.

People can book an appointment via the NHS National Booking Service, on the NHS App, by ringing 119 or by booking with a GP if they are offering the vaccination.

As well as booked appointments via the NHS website and local GP booking systems, some pharmacies accept walk-ins and additional community walk-in clinics will be popping-up across the county.

A spokesperson for Dorset Healthcare University NHS Foundation Trust said: "Vaccinations began a couple of weeks ago in older adult care homes and for eligible housebound patients ahead of wider appointments.

"If you or someone you know is housebound and waiting to hear from the NHS about the Covid-19 vaccination, NHS staff will be in touch to arrange your visit. You don't need to get in touch unless you are concerned you may not be registered as housebound.

"Covid-19 can still be very dangerous and even life-threatening, particularly for older people and those with a weakened immune system.

"The vaccine gives good protection and helps reduce the risk of serious illness or death."

A full list of Dorset clinic locations is available online at