The government has extended the national shielding programme to protect an additional 1.7 million people nationally. This follows evidence that some people are now known to be at a higher risk of developing serious illness from COVID-19 due to a combination of personal and health risk factors such as age, gender, ethnicity and weight (BMI).
Thousands of Hertfordshire and west Essex residents who are under 70 are now receiving shielding letters. This group of patients will be prioritised for a COVID-19 vaccination. You will hear from the practice in the coming days about booking your first appointment. If you have already received a shielding letter, you can book an appointment now through the national booking service which will allow you to arrange an appointment at one of the vaccination centres or community pharmacy sites.
The county council and partner organisations are continuing to support residents who request support via the National Shielding Support Service (NSSS) website: www.gov.uk/coronavirus-shielding-support. This can help with:
Deliveries of medication using volunteer support
Food assistance including volunteer shopper support (via Communities Help Hertfordshire) or purchasable food boxes (via Herts Independent Living Services)
Crisis support for those in financial difficulty or needing urgent support
Care support including mental health support, befriending, wellbeing visits or transport to vaccinations.
HertsHelp are also continuing to support users who do not have access to online services or are in urgent need of support. You can contact HertsHelp direct seven days a week on 0300 1234 044 or firstname.lastname@example.org.