HEALTH officials in Bolton have come together to reassure the public around booster jab concerns, and other measures that can be carried out to help stop the spread of Omicron.

They say the public should be extra vigilant when it comes to Omicron, given that it is more transmissible, and booster jabs are a key part of this, but that this should be combined with the Government guidance laid out.

Dr Helen Wall said we can also help reduce the spread with a lateral flow test twice a week, even if the person doesn’t have symptoms, as well as staying at home if unwell, and reducing mixing as much as we can.

Lateral flow tests have also been recommended particularly if people are going somewhere indoors where windows and doors should be open, crowded places, or when someone is more vulnerable.

There have however been issues when ordering tests online, but these can also be collected through pharmacies, some community testing sites and some education institutions.

Dr Wall added: “They are very basic and simple steps that people can do to stop the spread.

“Rolling the booster programme out is a big ask, but we have great trust in the Bolton vaccination sites.”

Booster jabs are now being offered to all adults aged over 18, providing it has been three months since they last had it.

Targets were outlined last night by the Prime Minister to achieve this by the end of December, as he warned of a“tidal wave” of Omicron cases.

Some people have experienced technical issues when trying to book appointments due to high demand.

Dr Wall said:”It’s really important people come forward for their booster because it helps lift your protection.

“We ask everyone to remain patient with the system whilst we are very busy, and show us the same kindness and support as before.”

Lynn Donkin, council public health consultant, said: “It’s really vital people get their booster protection across the community as quickly as they can, along with other measures.

Some people have raised concerns with health bosses about having to have more than two vaccines, but Dr Wall said that “the more vaccines you have the more your immune system can respond to that illness and make it stronger”.

Rick Catlin, deputy director of infection prevention control, at Bolton NHS Foundation Trust added: “Every time you have a vaccine your immune system puts more detail in the sketch so that your antibodies respond better.”

When it comes to people experiencing side effects, this is thought to be the same as it would be for any other variant, which can include headaches, or flu like symptoms.

Dr Wall added: “Many don’t get side any side effects, and if people do have any, they will be less than serious cases of Covid. The booster jabs have now been recommended to give us the protection we need. The response the immune system has given hasn’t been enough from two doses compared to the third or booster jab.”

As variants continue to mutate, it is not yet known whether similar to the flu jab, if there will be a single jab created in the future.

Mr Catlin said: “It means when people get a more mild case, they don’t end up in hospital, and reduces the likelihood of dying or being unwell. This might not stop you from getting the infection at all, but it will be mild.”

For those with a weakened immune system, this will be their fourth dose, acting as their booster.

Measures which have been laid by the Government currently include wearing a face mask in most indoor places, including cinemas and theatres public transport, and to work from home if possible.

Vaccine passports or a negative lateral flow test are also required for entry into nightclubs and events with a capacity of more than 10,000 people.

Those who are eligible will receive an invitation for their booster, and are asked not to contact their GP’s so they can focus on those who need help.

Face-to-face appointments are also still available, but patients will be prioritised based on needs.

Mr Catlin said people should seek other options before urgent care, whilst they are dealing with non Covid related cases.

Over 18s are now able to visit a walk-in centre and able to book in advance from Wednesday.

More information on your nearest walk-in centre can be found online at

People wishing to volunteer for walk-in clinics across Bolton can contact NHS Bolton CCG on 01204 462125, 462157, 462028.

Some of the duties include marshalling and admin support. Anyone wishing to volunteer for clinical duties, such as vaccinating, should check they’re up to date with training before calling via the website.

* To find the most up-to-date Covid information you can visit Bolton Council’s website, or the CCG, or NHS website.