The NHS is inviting over one million more people who are most at risk from COVID for their booster vaccine this week as the next phase of the NHS vaccination programme continues at pace.
Since the national booking system opened up for bookings for boosters on Tuesday (21 Sept), almost 850,000 people have already booked in for their top up jab.
NHS Chief Executive, Amanda Pritchard has praised NHS staff and volunteers for their efforts and encouraged anyone who has received their invite to come forward for their jab during a visit to Jacobs Well Community vaccine centre in Bradford.
The head of the NHS said that staff were once again rising to the challenge to deliver the autumn booster programme at speed – starting just 48 hours after the government accepted the recommendation by the JVCI.
Hundreds of thousands more text messages and letters are being sent out throughout this week.
More than 79 million vaccinations have been delivered and nearly 9 in 10 adults have had their first dose since the NHS in England made history when Margaret Keenan received the first jab outside of a clinical trial in December 2020.
Last week, Maggie received her top up jab in Coventry alongside matron May Parsons who delivered the first vaccination.
NHS chief executive Amanda Pritchard said: “In just a few days, the NHS has seen almost 850,000 thousand people book in for their vital booster jabs and we will this week be inviting a further one million people who are most at risk from COVID to get this crucial top up to their protection.
“I encourage anyone who has received an invite, to come forward for their booster jab as soon as they can and protect themselves and their loved ones this winter”.
Current JCVI guidance says that everyone aged 50 and over, as well as clinically vulnerable individuals and frontline health and social care workers, should receive a top-up dose.
Those who are eligible must have had their second vaccine at least six months ago and include:
- those living in residential care homes for older adults
- all adults aged 50 years or over
- frontline health and social care workers
- all those aged 16 to 49 years with underlying health conditions that put them at higher risk of severe COVID-19 (as set out in the green book), and adult carers adult household contacts of immunosuppressed individuals.
Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid said: “Thanks to the extensive preparations of the NHS, the autumn booster programme is being rolled out rapidly to those most at risk and a further one million people are being invited to come forward this week.
“A booster vaccine will prolong the protection they have already developed from first and second doses ahead of the winter.
“I urge everyone eligible to get their COVID-19 and flu vaccines as soon as they can”.
Eligible individuals can quickly and conveniently book an appointment via www.nhs.uk/covid-vaccination. People that can’t go online can book by phoning 119.
The booster programme is being delivered through existing sites including pharmacies, hospital hubs, GP practices and vaccination centres, and in line with JCVI guidance people will receive either one dose of Pfizer or half a dose of Moderna.
People could also be offered a booster dose of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine if they cannot have the Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna vaccine.
The NHS has been vaccinating 16- and 17-year olds with a single dose, with hundreds of thousands coming forward through the NHS ‘grab a jab’ campaign.
NHS staff have also started vaccinating young people aged 12 to 15 at schools after the government accepted the UK Chief Medical Officers’ recommendation to extend the vaccine offer to this age group.
Like the flu and human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines, COVID jabs for 12-15s are being delivered by local school age immunisation services who are working closely with schools to identify all eligible children.