PEOPLE across the Keighley district are being urged to get their winter Covid vaccination when it's offered.

Regional health chiefs issued the plea as the latest vaccine programme was launched.

Eligible groups include all those who are 65 and over, people aged six months to 64 in a clinical risk group, and frontline health and social care workers.

As in previous years, the NHS will inform people – in priority order, starting with those at greatest risk – when they are able to book an appointment.

The main vaccination programme is expected to be complete by the end of next month.

People are also being encouraged to get their flu jabs.

Covid vaccines will be available at an extended network of community pharmacies, alongside clinics run by most primary care networks in West Yorkshire. Flu vaccines will also be available through GP practices and pharmacies.

Dr James Thomas, medical director for the NHS West Yorkshire Integrated Care Board, says: "The NHS flu and Covid vaccination programmes have been very effective in protecting those at greatest risk and we will work at speed to ensure people are protected once again this year.

"With concerns arising over new Covid variants, it’s vital we adapt the programme and bring it forward for those most at risk, and so I strongly urge everyone eligible to come forward as soon as they can for this important protection in colder months.

"The vaccine continues to provide the best protection against serious illness and hospitalisation from Covid-19 so please make sure you get vaccinated when offered and encourage loved ones who are eligible to do the same.

"It is important for those who are eligible to top-up their protection, even if they have had a vaccine or been ill with flu or Covid before, as immunity wanes over time and these viruses change each year.

"NHS staff have worked hard to ensure services are ready for patients to get jabbed at an earlier stage so they can get their protection as soon as possible."

People will be able to book their jabs through the NHS website or app, or by calling 119.

Eligible groups may also be offered a vaccination by GP surgeries or other local NHS services.

The programme was originally due to start at the beginning of next month, but was brought forward following the emergence of a Covid variant.

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