Booster blitz as six million receive COVID-19 booster jab

Six million people in England have now received their COVID-19 booster vaccine top-up as the NHS COVID-19 vaccination rollout continues to protect the country against the virus.

Millions of eligible people have come forward for vital extra protection offered by the booster since the programme launched just over six weeks ago, including well over half of eligible over 50s, and delivery of vital top-ups averaging one million per week so far.

It comes on the back of last week’s record with nearly 1.6 million boosters delivered in seven days – including 710,000 reported doses last Friday and over the weekend alone.

More than 86 million vaccines have already been delivered and nine 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 Coventry, in December 2020.

There are more clinics delivering vaccines now than at any other point in the programme, including pharmacies, GP practices and other convenient community sites – almost every person registered with an English GP practice lives within 10 miles of a fixed vaccination location.

The overwhelming majority of care homes have now hosted a vaccine clinic or have it booked in for the coming days and weeks, allowing this priority group of people to get their top-up.

The NHS kicked off the booster programme on September 16, within just two days of updated advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation.

Dr Nikki Kanani, Deputy Lead for the NHS Vaccination Programme, said: “I had my booster at a local pharmacy and I would urge anyone, as soon as they can, to come forward and book their all-important protection.

“Booster vaccines are by far our best protection against the virus as we head into winter like no other and it is fantastic to see enthusiasm continue to grow as more people become eligible, with millions of lifesaving top-ups delivered across England already.

“It is testament to the hard work of NHS staff and volunteers that only six weeks into the NHS vaccine programme, more than half of eligible over 50s and two thirds of eligible over 80s have already received their booster vaccination”.

Vaccines Minister Maggie Throup said: “It is wonderful to see the number of boosters increasing as we hit another big milestone of 6 million top-up jabs delivered in England.

“The booster programme is prioritising the most vulnerable this winter – and so it is vital that all those eligible come forward as soon as they can”.

Eligible individuals are able to quickly and conveniently book an appointment on the NHS website. People that can’t go online can book by phoning 119.