Record breaking week for NHS COVID-19 booster jabs

It was a record week for the number of booster vaccines delivered with 2.1 million boosters delivered, compared to 1.7 million during the previous seven days.

Alongside a record busting number of COVID-19 vaccine boosters given from Saturday 6 to Friday 12 November, more than 797,568 doses were booked in a single day as the NHS vaccination programme continues its drive to protect the most vulnerable from coronavirus this winter.

A bumper week of bookings saw a total 2.7 million appointments made on the National Booking Service – with the record day on Monday seeing more than three quarters of a million bookings in just one day.

More than ten million people in England have now received their booster vaccine since the programme began just seven weeks ago, including people who are clinically vulnerable, aged 50 and above, or who work in health and social care.

Next week the NHS will be inviting another 3.6 million people to book their booster when they become eligible.

Latest data shows that more than three in four quarters of all eligible people aged over 75, and nearly two in three of all people eligible, have had their top-up dose.

The surge in booster bookings comes as the NHS is now inviting those who had their second dose more than five months ago for their booster, allowing people to book their top-up in advance of becoming eligible so they can receive it as soon as they reach six months.

Dr Nikki Kanani, GP and Deputy Lead for the NHS COVID-19 Vaccination Programme, said: “It is fantastic to see such strong uptake for the booster vaccine and record numbers booking their life-saving top-up next week to make sure they have as much protection as possible ahead of winter with 3.6 million invites due to be sent this week.

“In just seven weeks more than 10 million people in England have received their booster, including more than three quarters of over-75s, and with eligible people now able to book their booster vaccine online five months after their second dose, it is easier than ever to get protected.

“I’ve had my booster – it was quick and easy and I urge anyone else who is eligible to take up the offer as soon as possible, as the vaccine remains the best way to keep yourself and your loved ones safe from coronavirus”.

More than 13 million invites, including texts, letters and emails, have already been sent to eligible people so far asking them to book their booster online through the National Booking Service. The additional letters due to land next week will mean around 16 million invites have been sent since the NHS booster programme began.

Eligible people can also attend local walk-in sites without an appointment and can find their nearest walk-in through the online site finder.

The NHS continues to urge people to take up the ‘evergreen’ vaccine offer as people of all ages come forward for their first jab to help protect themselves and their loved ones ahead of a challenging winter.

Since the NHS in England made history when Margaret Keenan received the first jab outside of a clinical trial in Coventry in December, more than 90 million vaccines have been delivered.

While more than nine in 10 people have taken up the offer of a vaccine, there are around 4.5 million people yet to come forward for their first dose.

Following updated guidance from the JCVI in September, the NHS began administering booster vaccines within just 48 hours.

Those who are eligible for a booster vaccine 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.

There are more places delivering vaccines now than at any other point in the programme, including pharmacies, GP practices and other community sites, meaning almost every person lives within 10 miles of a fixed vaccination clinic.