More than 650,000 booster bookings were made yesterday (Monday) as the NHS kickstarted the expansion of its world-leading COVID-19 vaccination programme.
Yesterday was the second highest day for booster bookings as the online service opened to all eligible people aged 30 and above.
A total of 704,148 vaccine appointments were made, including 655,170 for boosters.
This surge in bookings comes as the NHS is accelerating the booster programme in a drive to offer all adults a top-up jab by the end of December.
Around two million invitations were sent to eligible adults yesterday, encouraging them to come forward for their booster, with millions more invites expected to go out in the coming days.
Dr Emily Lawson, Director of the NHS COVID-19 vaccination programme, said: “The NHS COVID-19 vaccination programme, the biggest and most successful in health service history, is once again pulling out all the stops to vaccinate as many as people and at speed – it is fantastic to see such a positive response from the public so far with over 650,000 bookings in one day alone.
“We need everyone to play their part in the national mission to protect the country and so we need people to continue to come forward and book their vaccine through the national booking service – like they did yesterday.
“The data is clear – getting boosted is our best hope of protecting people against the new variant so please book your slot online and guarantee your vital jab”.
Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid said: “The latest booking numbers are fantastic and clearly show the enthusiasm of the public to play their part in our national mission to accelerate the already phenomenal vaccination programme.
“Come forward to book your appointment so you can join millions of others to get boosted now”.
The NHS has set out plans to accelerate the booster programme, which includes opening extra pop-up vaccination centres and extending opening hours to offer more jabs to more people.
Vaccination sites have been asked to operate 12 hours a day, seven days a week wherever possible and in every community there should be slots available at least 16 hours a day.
Local NHS teams will also work with local authorities, the voluntary and community sector, to prioritise delivery and make it as easy as possible for people to get their top up protection, as well as redeploying admin and clinical staff to support with vaccinations.
Saturday (11 December) saw a record total of 483,361 boosters delivered, and in just over a year since Maggie Keenan received the first approved jab in the world the NHS has administered over 100 million jabs.
Thousands of volunteers and paid staff are also being recruited to support the delivery of the vaccine programme, and anyone interested in helping the NHS is being urged to search ‘COVID vaccine team’ to find out more.