More than 40 million people have now had a second jab after bumper week

More than 40 million second doses have now been delivered by the NHS COVID-19 Vaccination Programme, after a bumper week saw over 200,000 people come forward for their second jab.

Around one in every seven of the 1.5 million doses delivered last week were second doses, as people who had previously delayed getting their second jab continue to come forward.

Last week also saw more than 65,000 people aged 18 and over step up and get their first dose of the Covid-19 jab.

The NHS is reminding people that the offer of a vaccine on the NHS remains evergreen, and it is never too late to come forward for a first, second or third dose of the life-saving vaccine.

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.

In line with Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) guidance, the NHS cannot vaccinate people who have tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 28 days.

Since the NHS in England made history by delivering the first Covid-19 vaccination outside of clinical trials in December 2020, hard-working staff and volunteers have given more than 113 million jabs in total, with almost nine in 10 adults receiving two doses.

However, there are still more than 1.1 million people aged 18 and over who are eligible for their second jab but have not come forward yet, and the head of the NHS Covid-19 Vaccination Programme is urging them not to delay any further.

Dr Emily Lawson, NHS vaccination lead, said: “The offer of a covid-19 jab in the NHS vaccination programme is evergreen and it is fantastic that we have now given two or more doses to 40 million people across England, including 205,000 last week alone.

“We know people are busy and over half of people put off having their second dose in the run up to Christmas. NHS staff are making it as easy as possible for people to get the vaccine in their local communities and it never too late to get any of your doses of protection – whether it’s first, second or third.

“Vaccination continues to be our best protection against serious illness, so I encourage anybody who isn’t vaccinated or is still to get their second dose to come forward without delay to get the best protection on offer against coronavirus.”

Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid said: “I am incredibly proud of our phenomenal vaccination programme, from NHS frontline staff and volunteers, to the Armed Forces and British public, who have done everything they can to get jabs into arms as quickly as possible.

“Every one of us has a part to play in the national mission to make sure we’re all protected. The offer of a vaccine will always be there – whether it’s your first dose, second dose or your booster – please keep coming forward.”

Anyone eligible for a first, second or booster jab can book a convenient appointment online through the national booking service to guarantee their boost of protection.

Since the vaccination programme opened to people aged 12 to 15 in September, more than 1.4 million young people have had their first dose, with thousands still getting jabbed each day.

All children aged 12 to 15 are also eligible for a second dose of vaccine if it has been more than 12 weeks since their first jab, and more than 50,000 will be invited for their second dose as they become eligible this week.