Booster blitz as six million receive COVID-19 booster jab

Six million people in England have now received their COVID-19 booster vaccine top up as the NHS covid-19 vaccination rollout continues to protect the country against the virus. And latest figures show 52.6% of people who are eligible in the North West have now had their booster vaccine.

Millions of eligible people have come forward for vital extra protection offered by the booster since the programme launched just over six weeks ago, including well over half of eligible over 50s, and delivery of vital top-ups averaging one million per week so far.

It comes on the back of last week’s record with nearly 1.6 million boosters delivered in seven days – including 710,000 reported doses last Friday and over the weekend alone.   For the North West, just under 200,000 people had their booster vaccine in the seven days up until Wednesday 27 October, bringing the total number of people who have had a booster, or third dose because they have conditions that affect their immune systems, to over 824,000.

More than 10.7 million vaccines have been given so far in the North West, part of 86 million vaccines delivered nationally and nine in 10 adults have had their first dose since the NHS in England made history when Margaret Keenan received the first jab outside of a clinical trial in Coventry, in December 2020.   

There are more 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.

The overwhelming majority of care homes have now hosted a vaccine clinic or have it booked in for the coming days and weeks, allowing this priority group of people to get their top-up.  

The NHS kicked off the booster programme on September 16, within just two days of updated advice from the JCVI.  

Dr Nikki Kanani, deputy lead for the NHS vaccination programme, said, “I had my booster at a local pharmacy and I would urge anyone, as soon as they can, to come forward and book their all-important protection.

“Booster vaccines are by far our best protection against the virus as we head into winter like no other and it is fantastic to see enthusiasm continue to grow as more people become eligible, with millions of lifesaving top-ups delivered across England already.

“It is testament to the hard work of NHS staff and volunteers that only six weeks into the NHS vaccine programme, more than half of eligible over 50s and two-thirds of eligible over 80s have already received their booster vaccination.”

Dr Linda Charles-Ozuzu, Regional Director of Commissioning and Senior Responsible Officer for the Vaccination Programme in the North West, said, “Like Nikki, I’d encourage everyone to have a booster when they become eligible.  People across the North West have been particularly badly affected by the Covid-19 virus – and that’s why it’s so important that people have the maximum protection against this virus.

“With more than 300 sites now offering booster vaccinations across the North West, it’s easier than ever to get your top-up dose before winter.”

Eligible individuals are able to quickly and conveniently book an appointment at www.nhs.uk/book-covid-booster People that can’t go online can book by phoning 119.

Those who are eligible for a booster at least six months on from their second dose 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.
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