The NHS is reminding millions of people who have still not had their COVID booster this week to book in, as the health service continues to encourage people to come forward for protection against coronavirus.
More than four million people have been sent a second reminder to get boosted and a further 200,000 invitations been sent to people newly-eligible for their top-up dose, with letters encouraging them to come forward and book their appointment.
Reminders come as health bosses urge those who are considered overdue for their booster to get jabbed, with new research from UK Health Security Agency shows that since mid-December 2021 boosters have prevented around 105,000 hospitalisations for coronavirus in those aged 25 years and over.
NHS staff continue to pull out all the stops to make it as easy as possible for people to grab their jab with more than 1.5 million appointments available over the next seven days and 3,000 sites across the country offering vaccines, including 1,000 walk-in sites.
Dr Emily Lawson, NHS vaccination lead, said: “More than four in five eligible people aged 16 and over are double jabbed and over half have already taken up the offer of a booster, with tens of thousands still coming forward every day.
“However, NHS data shows that millions of people are overdue their booster by at least six weeks – four million people have not come forward for their top-up since they received reminders from the NHS in December – and while some had to delay because of a coronavirus infection it is still absolutely crucial that people get their booster in order to increase their protection against reinfection and the dangers of long COVID.
“It is important we don’t lose sight of the fact that COVID is still a very serious illness that is affecting thousands of people’s lives every day, with new research showing the risk of death involving COVID-19 is 93% lower for those who have had a booster or third dose compared to those who are unvaccinated so please book in for your vaccine today.”
Hard-working staff and volunteers have delivered more than 116 million vaccinations since the NHS made history delivering the first COVID vaccine outside of clinical trials just over a year ago, including more than 31 million boosters.
- Uptake among those eligible for a booster, aged 16 or over, is 81.6%
- In line with JCVI guidance the NHS cannot vaccinate people aged 18 and over within four weeks of a COIVD infection, and 12 to 17-year-olds must wait 12 weeks
- As part of the hugely successful NHS ‘Grab a Jab’ campaign, the NHS has been encouraging people to get vaccinated at hundreds of walk-in centres across the country. There are more than a 1,000 sites currently available on the Grab A Jab website
- The NHS is working with major employers (prioritising those with young staff in unvaccinated areas) to get vaccines to or around their workplaces and to arrange conversations at work with doctors to talk through their questions and concerns
- The health service works with social media platforms and content creators to ensure there is accurate, creative content to inform younger people’s decisions about vaccination.