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Over two thirds of eligible adults boosted ahead of Christmas
More than two thirds of people aged 18 and over and who are eligible, have now received their top up protection against COVID-19 as the NHS booster campaign continues to protect the nation against the virus.
In total, 25,130,453 people who are three months on from their second dose have already been boosted in England, with the online service opening to eligible adults last Wednesday.
The latest numbers follow a week of “blockbooster” records for vaccinations including a mammoth weekend with over 830,000 boosters on delivered on Saturday – the highest number ever – and more than 1.5 million boosters reported over Saturday and Sunday.
More than 5.3 million boosters were reported between Monday 13th and 20th of December.
The biggest and most successful vaccination drive in NHS history has also boosted more than four in five of people aged 50 and over.
As part of the national mission to get people vaccinated as quickly as possible following the emergence of the new variant, the NHS booster programme opened up to millions more people so that every eligible adult can book their vital jab.
The NHS is urging everyone who is eligible – three months on from their second jab and able to book after two months – to get their booster as soon as possible.
However, people cannot get vaccinated within 28 days of having had the virus.
Recent data from the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) showed that two doses of the vaccine are not enough to stop people becoming unwell from Omicron, but a booster significantly increases protection against the variant.
Around two in five people who are eligible in their thirties have also now had their lifesaving booster.
Every eligible adult can now book in for their all-important jab online and given some sites remain busy, the NHS is encouraging people to book to guarantee their slot.
Appointments continue to be available over the festive period with one third of slots still up for grabs this week, as England’s top GP thanks staff for their hard work and urges people to come forward and “get boosted now”.
Dr Nikki Kanani, deputy lead for the NHS Covid vaccination programme, said: “It is incredible to see how far we have come in such a short space of time, and I cannot thank NHS staff and volunteers enough for their phenomenal effort delivering millions of boosters in the last week at such speed – their huge efforts have meant two out of three adults are now benefiting from extra protection ahead of the festive period.
“We are not at the finish line yet – NHS staff are creating endless convenient opportunities for people who haven’t had their booster yet and there are lots of slots available. So my message to you is give your loved ones the best possible present for Christmas – get boosted now. Book in, roll up your sleeves and protect you and those around you this Christmas”.
Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid said: “I have been absolutely blown away by the public response to our national mission for everyone to Get Boosted Now, with over two-thirds of eligible adults in England now having had their immunity topped up.
“It’s a testament to the incredible work of all of our NHS staff and volunteers. I also couldn’t be more grateful to people across the country for their community spirit in coming forward to secure vital protection for themselves and their loved ones”.
NHS staff have continued to pull out all the stops to get their communities protected vaccinating at stadiums and racecourses as well as sending mobile buses to Christmas markets.
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 – with some sites extending to 24- hour operation to make it easier for people who work shift patterns.
Since making history by delivering the first COVID-19 vaccine outside of a clinical trial to Maggie Keenan in December last year, the NHS in England has administered over 107 million doses including more than 25 million boosters.
Last week the NHS set out plans to accelerate the booster programme, by opening extra pop-up vaccination centres and expanding opening hours to offer more jabs to more people.
Over 25 million people have now had their top up jab in England, at one of nearly 3,000 vaccination sites across the country.
The NHS is encouraging people to volunteer to support the delivery of the vaccine programme, with NHS chief nurse Ruth May last week calling on medical and nursing students, doctors, nurses and other health professionals who may have retired to come forward and enlist in the programme.
Any former staff, students and volunteers that would like to join the vaccine team are being encouraged to sign up on the NHS England site.
Large employers are also being encouraged to get involved, whether by offering on-site workplace vaccinations like car giant Jaguar Land Rover this week in Solihull, or by simply offering and encouraging volunteers to help out.
Yesterday (Monday 20 December 2021), the NHS opened the national booking service for 12-15 year olds to get their second COVID-19 vaccine with more than 1.3 million young people already having taken up the offer of a first dose.
Parents and guardians are asked to attend vaccination sites with their children if are getting jabbed outside of school hours and consent will be sought on the day. Parents and young people are asked to read the patient information in advance of arriving for their appointment.