The NHS in the North West is celebrating a double milestone in the Covid-19 vaccination programme after achieving 12 million doses in less than 12 months, including delivering the first 2 million boosters.
The latest figures show the 12 millionth vaccine has been given more than a week ahead of the first anniversary of the Covid vaccination programme on 8 December, part of more than 95.5 million vaccines given nationally.
Today (Wednesday, 1 December) it was also confirmed that more than 2 million of the most vulnerable people in the region have received vital top-up protection from their booster vaccine.
Booster vaccines are currently offered to everyone aged 40 and over, frontline health and social care workers and those aged 16 and over with an underlying health condition putting them at greater risk from the virus, six months after the second dose.
Following JCVI guidance this week to accelerate the vaccination programme in response to the potential threat from the new Omicron variant, the NHS is working on plans to offer a booster dose to everyone aged 18 and over from 3 months after the previous dose.
First, second and booster vaccines are now being offered at more than 300 vaccination services in the North West, including pharmacies, hospital hubs, GP practices and vaccination centres. In addition, new pop-up and roving clinics are constantly being introduced across the region to make it easier and more convenient for people to get their vaccines.
Dr Linda Charles-Ozuzu, Regional Director of Commissioning and SRO for the Covid-19 vaccination programme in the North West, said, “Hitting this double milestone in the North West is phenomenal and I would like to thank everyone who has come forward to have their vaccines so far.
“I would also like to thank NHS colleagues, partners and volunteers for their continued dedication and commitment in ensuring that the programme is running at pace.
“It is just as important to get vaccinated now as it was on day one of the programme and I’d strongly urge people who haven’t yet had their first dose, or are due a second or booster dose, to come forward and book theirs today.”
People can book their vaccine appointment online at www.nhs.uk/covid-vaccination or by phoning 119. A wide range of walk-in clinics are also available around the region, with many offering extra appointment slots during the run up to Christmas. People can use the NHS online walk-in finder to find their nearest walk-in site.