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The NHS is sending out two million more invitations this week to people who are eligible for their booster vaccine ahead of winter, as the NHS COVID-19 vaccine programme continues to protect those most at risk of the virus.
More than 5 million people have already received the additional life-saving jab since the largest vaccination programme in NHS history began administering them last month, just two days after the JCVI updated its guidance.
Anyone receiving a text or letter inviting them for a booster shot should come forward as soon as possible to get crucial protection.
Over 7.5 million people have already been invited by text, email and letter encouraging them to book through the National Booking Service.
The NHS is following guidance that boosters should be delivered at least six months after the second dose, with current evidence suggesting this is the best time to increase immunity to COVID-19.
Anyone eligible for their booster can book in via the National Booking Service or their GP when invited with more than 2,200 sites around the country, including GP practices, community pharmacies and other convenient local sites.
More than 84 million vaccines have already been delivered and 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 Coventry, in December 2020.
The NHS also revealed that over 90% of care homes have now been visited or have a booster clinic booked, as the NHS intensifies the latest phase of the vaccination campaign.
NHS medical director Professor Stephen Powis said: “Winter is coming and infection rates are rising and so it’s now really important that everyone receiving their invite for a booster vaccine from the NHS this week books in at one of the convenient vaccinations sites around the country offering this crucial, additional protection.
“Thanks to NHS staff nine in ten people have had a first dose, saving tens of thousands of lives and now more than five million boosters have been delivered in the first month of the roll out.
“I would urge anyone receiving an invite this week to book in as soon as possible – the booster dose is proven to significantly increase protection against Covid and will provide vital protection this winter”.
Messages will come from ‘NHSvaccine’ and will include a link to the NHS website, enabling anyone eligible to book an appointment at a convenient site nearby.
Currently around 10 million people in England are eligible for a booster including health and care workers, those with underlying health conditions and people aged 50 and over.
People who are eligible will be invited for their booster shot at least six months on from their second dose, in line with independent expert advice – the number of people who are eligible changes daily as additional people reach six months since their second jab.
Eligible individuals are able to quickly and conveniently book an appointment at www.nhs.uk/book-covid-booster. People that can’t go online can book by phoning 119.
Those who are eligible for a booster at least six months on from their second dose 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.