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Friday 3 December will see the region's NHS pop-up booster bus arrive in Portsmouth in a bid to offer booster vaccinations to more residents aged 40 and over, who are now due to get theirs.

The pop-up bus will be located in Guildhall Walk from 9am to 4pm for anyone wanting to grab-a-jab as it is a walk-in facility with no appointment needed. The NHS team aims to vaccinate an extra 250 plus people on the day and plans to be back in the city with the pop-up bus on Friday 10 and Friday 17 December, providing further opportunities for residents to get their booster vaccination.

Cllr Gerald Vernon-Jackson, Leader of Portsmouth City Council says:

“Getting the vaccine, whether it’s your first, second or booster dose, is vital. And for anyone 40 and over who wants their booster, especially if they’ve found it difficult to arrange an appointment, will now have the opportunity to turn up on Friday and get theirs. We are working very hard alongside our local NHS partners to ensure opportunities for everyone in the city to get their vaccinations and this offer will help broaden that opportunity.”

Helen Atkinson, Director of Public Health for Portsmouth City Council says:

“Now more than ever it’s vital for those eligible to top up their immunity against coronavirus as we now know we are facing the new Omicron variant. We don’t know for sure how the Omicron variant will behave, so we must use all the tools we have to help reduce the spread and protect ourselves, especially as we know respiratory viruses spread more in winter when we spend more time indoors with others.

“Alongside having a booster dose of the vaccine and wearing face coverings in shops and on public transport where it’s now mandatory, we can all keep doing the things that work to limit the spread of the virus. Washing hands regularly, wearing a face covering whenever you’re in enclosed or busy places, limiting the number of people we meet, and getting tested remain the most effective things we can all do.”

Anyone, including children, with symptoms of coronavirus (a high temperature, new continuous cough or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste) should get a PCR test to check if they have the virus. If symptoms develop, no matter how mild, even in those fully vaccinated, they should arrange a test immediately and should not leave home except to get tested.

Regular asymptomatic testing finds the one in three people with COVID-19 who do not have symptoms but can still infect others. Taking a rapid lateral flow test before an expected period of high risk during the day, particularly when visiting people who are at higher risk of severe illness if they were infected with COVID-19 is strongly recommended. Test packs are free to all.

 

Update – 10 December 2021

The NHS booster bus was expected to return to Portsmouth on Friday 10 and Friday 17 December. However, the difficult decision was made yesterday (Thursday 9 December) to stand down all booster buses this weekend due to the continued adverse weather forecast in the coming days, in the interest of public safety.

We know this will be disappointing news and encourage individuals to book their appointments through the National Booking System. Our colleagues in the NHS are working to provide more capacity to deliver more appointments in the coming weeks.