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Nearly 1.6 million booster jabs have been delivered over the past seven days, the NHS said today as the NHS COVID-19 vaccination programme continues to protect the nation against the virus.
It comes alongside over half a million texts (532,000) going out today (Wednesday) and 322,000 letters landing on doorsteps from tomorrow.
The milestone follows another record week for booster jabs with nearly 1.5 million top-up jabs taking place last week (Monday to Sunday) – with more than 710,000 boosters reported on Friday and over the weekend alone.
Last week also saw record bookings for boosters using the National Booking Service with nearly 900,000 people booking in their booster jab – a 42% increase on the previous week.
A total of two million invites are being sent out by the NHS this week as more people become eligible as they reach the six-month mark.
More than 85 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.
NHS chiefs are today urging people who are receiving an invite to come forward for their top up jab ahead of winter.
NHS medical director Stephen Powis said: “The NHS booster roll out continues to go from strength to strength, with nearly 1.6 million lifesaving booster jabs delivered in the last seven days, higher than last week’s record numbers, and with over half of eligible over 50s now protected – a remarkable effort from NHS staff and volunteers in such a short space of time.
“The vaccine is quick and easy and it provides really important protection against the virus, especially as we go into the winter months. So, if your letter or text lands today, do come forward and book your jab – it will protect you and those around you”.
Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid said: “Millions of people have already had their booster jab at vaccination sites across the country – including 1.6 million in the last week alone – ensuring they and their loved ones are kept as safe as possible over the coming months.
“The booster programme is maintaining protection for the most vulnerable this winter, and with hundreds of thousands more set to receive letters and texts this week, we’re continuing to bolster our monumental wall of defence around the country.
“Once you receive your letter or text, or if it’s been six months and one week since your second dose, get online or ring 119 to book your jab as soon as possible”.
The NHS is vaccinating in line with guidance set by the JCVI which says that eligible groups can have a booster shot, a minimum of six months on from their second jab for maximum protection.
Anyone eligible for a booster who is 190 days on from their second dose can go online and book through the National Booking Service or call 119 if they need extra support with their booking.
More than nine in ten care homes have now been visited by the NHS or have a booster clinic booked in.
The NHS started the booster programme within 48 hours of the JCVI recommendation and in little over a month since the rollout begun the NHS in England has delivered more than five million top-up doses of the life-saving jab – more than double the rate of the initial rollout in December.
The vaccination rollout, the biggest and fastest in NHS history, has ensured million people across England have had both doses of the jab.
The NHS will contact you to offer you a booster vaccine if you are eligible and it has been at least six months (182 days) since the date of your second vaccine dose. Anyone receiving an invite should come forward as soon as possible to get crucial protection.
The booster programme is being delivered through existing sites including pharmacies, hospital hubs, GP practices and vaccination centres.
In line with JCVI guidance, 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.
- 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.