NHS delivers back to back record COVID booster jabs

The NHS COVID vaccination programme delivered another daily booster jab record yesterday (Wednesday) with over 626,000 reported in just one day.

There were 626,846 new boosters reported – an increase of 84% from the 340,615 recorded on the previous Wednesday.

Bookings for boosters also continued to surge with a record 821,075 appointments for top-ups made yesterday as the NHS vaccination programme, the biggest and most successful in health service history, continues to accelerate.

A total 684,852 jabs were delivered by the NHS in England yesterday meaning 1,760,036 COVID-19 vaccinations have already taken place so far this week.

Dr Emily Lawson, director of the NHS COVID-19 vaccination programme, said: “Behind these huge record numbers is a phenomenal effort from our incredible NHS staff at vaccine centres across the country every single day – they are rising to the country’s national mission by getting as many jabs into arms as they possibly can ahead of the festive season.

“People across the country are also rising to the challenge – and we want to continue to see this enthusiasm. My message to you is get boosted now and with some sites busy the best way to guarantee your jab is to book in advance. The data is clear, this gives us all maximum protection”.

The UK Health Security Agency published data showing two doses of a vaccine are not enough to stop people becoming unwell from Omicron. A third booster prevents around 75 per cent of people getting any COVID symptoms.

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.

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.

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.

Since making history delivering the first COVID-19 vaccine outside of clinical trials in December 2020, Maggie Keenan received the first approved jab in the world and the NHS has now administered over 100 million jabs.

Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid said: “More than 626,000 people received their booster jab yesterday in England, smashing the record for the second time in as many days.

“As we ramp up our vaccination programme to bolster our defences, I want to say thank you to the NHS and the armed forces, to the pharmacies in the heart of our communities and to the thousands of volunteers for their tireless work morning, noon and night in our national mission to get boosted.

“We have one of the fastest booster programmes in the world and I urge everybody to roll up their sleeves and get boosted now

Vaccines Minister Maggie Throup said: “The booster programme continues to reinforce our defences against COVID-19, giving almost 25 million people in the UK the best possible protection against Omicron.

“I want to thank every single person that stepped forward and for the NHS for getting jabs in arms.

“Getting your booster is the most important thing you can do for yourself and your loved ones”.