The NHS in the North West is celebrating delivering 13 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine in just over 12 months.
In a record week for the NHS vaccination programme, in which more than 1.7 million vaccines were delivered nationally in the first three days, the impressive milestone was achieved in the North West, in part due to the massive scaling up of the regional vaccination programme.
First, second and booster vaccines are currently being offered at more than 300 sites across the region, with more being brought online since the Prime Minister announced that every eligible adult in England would be offered a booster vaccine by the end of 2021.
Efforts to increase vaccine capacity in the North West include additional lanes and extended opening hours at large vaccination centres, GP-led clinics and pharmacies, 8 new hospital hub plus locations and a myriad of hyper-local pop-up clinics in the community being run by GP-led services in the run-up to, and during the festive period.
All adults who are 91 days past their second jabs can now book to get their booster on the National Booking Service (NBS), at one of the hundreds of sites working across the North West. Children and young people aged 12-17 can also book their second jab through the NBS.
Since the NBS opened to all adults at the beginning of the week, around 228,000 bookings have been made in the North West alone, in addition to tens of thousands of appointments being made available through walk-in clinics and local booking arrangements – and plans are being made to step up capacity even further.
Linda Charles-Ozuzu, Regional Director of Commissioning and Senior Responsible Officer for the Covid-19 vaccination programme in the North West, said, “Hitting this milestone shows just how hard all of our NHS partners, colleagues and volunteers are working, 13 million jabs is a phenomenal number.
“We’re still giving first and second jabs, as well as the booster; so please if you have yet to get any of your Covid-19 vaccines, please book an appointment or find a walk-in site as soon as you can.
“The Omicron variant of the virus is spreading through our communities faster than any of the strains that we have seen before, but boosters are proving to be effective against becoming seriously ill.
“So whether it is for yourself, or to protect your loved ones this Christmas time, please book your jab 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.