People in the Midlands encouraged to get their COVID booster jab before it’s too late

Eligible people in the Midlands yet to benefit from the seasonal COVID-19 booster are being encouraged to come forward for protection against the risk of serious illness before the NHS booster vaccination programme ends on Sunday 12 February.

The February date will be the last chance for people to get a COVID booster following last week’s Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) announcement that, thanks to the success of the programme, the offer of an initial booster dose should end when the current autumn campaign ends, which will be on Sunday 12 February.

Over 3.3 million people in the Midlands have had their COVID-19 seasonal booster since the autumn campaign began.

Cases of COVID-19 continue to circulate in the community. There are currently 1,034 patients in the Midlands with COVID-19 in hospitals with 1,231 cases in the East Midlands and 1,641 in the West Midlands recorded over the last seven-day reporting period.

The seasonal booster gives vital protection against the newer Omicron variants as well as the earlier COVID variants. So, while cases continue to circulate, the risk of serious illness is reduced thanks to the booster.

The NHS will continue to operate a smaller scale vaccine offer from mid-February onwards to ensure those eligible for first and second doses can still get their jabs.

Roz Lindridge, the NHS England director responsible for overseeing the vaccination programme across the Midlands, said:

“COVID-19 remains dangerous and even life-threatening for some, especially older people and younger people with long-term health conditions.

“The good news is that the booster increases immunity and is highly effective at reducing the risk of severe infection and hospitalisation. So, whether it’s your first booster or you’re eligible for a seasonal booster, I want to encourage anyone who hasn’t yet come forward to book an appointment before the 12 February deadline.

“The vaccine will top up your immunity against COVID and keep you and your loved ones protected.”

The NHS is prepared to move quickly if required to roll out a potential spring campaign, as well as another autumn campaign later this year, and will set out operational plans once further guidance is received.

The vaccine has been rigorously tested to the highest safety standards and is continuously monitored for safety. It has been tested on tens of thousands of people across the world – men, women, people of different ethnicities and ages – as well as given to millions more.

People can book their latest COVID-19 dose through the national booking system or by calling 119. You can also get a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine from a walk-in site without an appointment. People can find their nearest walk-in sites on the NHS website.