More than one million people in London have already received their COVID-19 booster jab, as the NHS vaccination programme continues to protect those most at risk from coronavirus.
London’s top doctor, Medical Director Dr Vin Diwakar is urging everyone who receives an invite to come forward for their top up jab if they haven’t taken up the offer yet.
The NHS launched its COVID-19 vaccination booster programme on September 16, following advice from the independent Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI). Nationally, more than six million additional doses of the life-saving COVID-19 vaccine have been delivered to those eligible.
Dr Vin Diwakar, Medical Director for the NHS in London, said:
“It’s fantastic to see more than one million Londoners have taken up the offer of the booster jab, available across a number of convenient locations across the capital through both walk in and booked appointments.
“It is testament to the hard work of London’s NHS staff and volunteers that nearly 64% of those invited in London have already received their booster vaccination.
“If it has been five months or more since your second dose, get online or ring 119 to book your jab, or if it’s been six months you can also visit one of the number of walk-in locations across the capital – it will protect you and those around you against the virus.”
Pharmacies and GP surgeries are just some of the locations at which the booster is being offered, with local walk-in centres making it even more convenient for those who are eligible to receive their extra dose of protection against the potentially devastating effects of coronavirus.
The NHS is vaccinating in line with guidance set by the JCVI which says that eligible groups can have a booster shot, a minimum of six months on from their second jab for maximum protection.
From today, people can book an appointment a month in advance of becoming eligible – so people should book as soon as they can on www.nhs.uk/covid-vaccination or if you can’t use the website, by calling 119.
As London hit the 1million milestone over the weekend, Alison, 65, came forward to get her booster vaccination at the St Nicolas Centre in Sutton wanting to protect her elderly 95-year-old father and her grandchildren.
“I think it’s our social responsibility to have the vaccine and protect other people. I do now feel more comfortable going out and about although I’m still cautious.
“It was totally painless and I thought it was very well organised, and very accessible because of the fact that it was in the St Nicholas shopping centre.”
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, added:
“I’m delighted London has reached the 1 million milestone for Covid booster jabs and continues lead the way nationally for the roll out of this life-saving booster vaccine.
“I’m proud to be among the first million Londoners to receive the jab after popping into my local pharmacy. Getting the Covid vaccine is quick, easy and convenient. It is available at your local NHS hub, GP or pharmacy and provides really important protection for you and your loved ones against the virus as we head into the winter months.
“The situation with COVID-19 in the capital is finely balanced and needs all of us to act together to protect ourselves, our loved ones, the things we enjoy and our NHS this winter – that’s why I’m urging all Londoners to have the booster vaccine and flu jab as soon as you are offered it.”
There are more London clinics delivering vaccines now than at any other point in the programme, including pharmacies, GP practices and other convenient community sites. Almost every person registered with an English GP practice lives within 10 miles of a fixed vaccination location.
Statistics this week showed that the risk of death involving Covid-19 is 32 times greater in unvaccinated people than in those who had received both doses.
The NHS is reminding Londoners that it is never too late to get your first or second dose of the lifesaving Covid-19 vaccination – the offer from the NHS is evergreen.
Those who are eligible for a booster at least six months on from their second dose (bookable after five months) include:
• those living in residential care homes for older adults
• all adults aged 50 years or over
• frontline health and social care workers
• all those aged 16 to 49 years with underlying health conditions that put them at higher risk of severe Covid-19 (as set out in the green book), and adult carers
• adult household contacts of immunosuppressed individuals.
In total over 12.5 million vaccines have already been delivered in London since the NHS launched its vaccination programme last December.