Covid-19 Evergreen vaccination offer to one million people in region

NHS vaccination leaders are urging the more than one million people in the North East and Yorkshire who remain unvaccinated against Covid-19 to come forward for their life-saving jab.

Between today and Sunday (16 January) there will be more than 210,000 vaccination appointments available on the National Booking Service in the North East and Yorkshire region. People can also use the NHS online walk-in finder to find their nearest walk-in site, or call 119.

Latest figures also show 685,000 people aged under 40 in the North East and Yorkshire have not received their Covid-19 booster jab. In light of the fact research has shown the booster jab offers a much higher level of protection against Omicron than two doses, it has never been more important to come forward for your booster to protect against severe disease and hospitalisation.

Dr Yvette Oade, the NHS region’s clinical lead for the Covid-19 vaccination programme, says the priority remains on achieving the highest possible uptake of vaccine to protect individuals, their families and communities.

“The achievements of the vaccination programme regionally and nationally have been excellent, but there remains work to be done,” Dr Oade said.  “There was an acceleration of the vaccination programme from during December, so that all eligible adults have been offered Covid-19 vaccine doses. In the North East and Yorkshire we have delivered 4.6 million booster jabs and passed the milestone of 17 million doses since the programme began.

“We now need to encourage anyone who hasn’t yet come forward, together with those who have recently become eligible, to receive the vaccine. We describe this as the Evergreen offer.

“In the North East and Yorkshire, more than one million people are eligible for vaccination but have not come forward and the proportions of unvaccinated people are similar in each of the region’s four healthcare systems. People who are unvaccinated are at risk of not protecting themselves, their families and those around them.”

Dr Oade added: “If you turned down the offer of the vaccine some time ago, it’s okay to have a change of heart and come forward now. If you haven’t yet been vaccinated, please speak with your GP or a clinical staff member at your nearest vaccination centre to discuss your questions or concerns. They will be pleased to help and will advise you using their expert knowledge and experience.

“Although some commentators have referred to Omicron as mild in terms of its symptoms, we should be aware evidence shows that for people who are unvaccinated, Covid-19 remains a serious illness, regardless of the variant concerned.”

Meanwhile, Covid-19 vaccination teams are continuing the vaccination of 12- to 15-year-olds following the return of schools after the Christmas holiday. For younger children, aged 5 to 11 years, who are significantly clinically vulnerable the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has announced they can be offered one dose of the vaccine.

Nationally, there are more than 1.2 million appointments are still available to book this week (including Sunday), on top of those available locally.