There are more than 70,000 chances to grab a jab this week across the east of England region as the NHS Covid-19 vaccination programme opens up its spring offer to all those eligible.
More than 80,000 people in the region have already booked an appointment and the first of these will begin receiving their vaccinations from today.
Around 750,000 people in the east are eligible in line with Joint Committee of Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) advice, which includes over 75s, those aged five and over with a weakened immune system, and older adult care home residents.
There will be more than 400 sites available for the spring vaccine across the east of England, with the majority of appointments being delivered in communities by pharmacies and GPs.
NHS staff have already begun administering spring booster doses to care home residents over the last two weeks.
Nationally, the NHS has issued 1.25 million invites so far and a further one million people will be asked to book a vaccine appointment this week if they are yet to do so.
It is the first time that millions have been sent their initial invitations through the NHS App, where they can also book an appointment, as the NHS continues to expand its technological capabilities.
Text messages, emails and letters will also be sent to those without the app or not actively using it.
The health service – now in its 75th year – has administered more than 144.5 million Covid jabs over several vaccination campaigns since Maggie Keenan became the first in the world outside of a clinical trial to receive the vaccination in December 2020.
Ruth Ashmore, the NHS’s lead for the vaccination programme in the east of England, said:
“The Covid vaccine is crucial to protect people at greatest risk of severe illness from the virus, which includes those with a weakened immune system and everyone 75 or over.
“It’s good news that around 80,000 people have already booked in to get their jab, and there are more than 70,000 further appointments available across the region this week alone.
“Across the country, the NHS Covid-19 vaccination programme has delivered almost 145 million vaccine doses since December 2020, giving people vital extra protection. If you are eligible, please come forward as soon as you can to get your spring Covid vaccination, and give yourself peace of mind this summer.”
This latest vaccination is being offered to those considered most at risk, following advice from the JCVI.
Those invited should make sure their appointment takes place at least three months since their last dose.
Anyone who believes they should be eligible for a vaccine but does not get invited can check online. Alternatively, they can self-declare via the National Booking Service and then speak to a clinician on site.
The last spring vaccination appointments will be offered on 30 June. Anyone who turns 75 before then is eligible.
Covid-19 vaccinations for everyone who was aged 5 on or before 31 August 2022 will also end after that date, following recent advice from the JCVI. After 30 June, the NHS offer will become more targeted to those at increased risk, usually during seasonal campaigns.