More than one million additional people are now eligible to book their life-saving top-up jab as the NHS COVID-19 vaccination programme continues to boost people’s protection ahead of winter.
People aged 40 to 49 can now book their booster vaccine, and 16 and 17-year-olds their second jabs, just seven days after the JCVI updated their advice for these age groups.
Across England, almost 500,000 people in their forties had their second dose at least six months ago, and are currently eligible to get their booster jab.
People can book their booster appointment on the National Booking Service a month before they become eligible, which means they can get their top-up jabs as soon as they reach the six month mark.
There are more than one million 40 to 49-year-olds who will be able to pre-book their booster appointments tomorrow, and a further 1.5 million invites are being sent to this age group in coming weeks.
Young people aged 16 and 17 can also book their second vaccine online from tomorrow, following last week’s updated JCVI guidance recommending a second dose at least 12 weeks after their first.
Nearly 200,000 people in this age group are already eligible for a second dose, and invitations for second jabs will be landing on the doorsteps of thousands of 16 and 17-year-olds over the next few weeks.
Almost 800,000 in this age group have had their first COVID jab since the biggest and most successful vaccination programme in health history rolled out to this age group in summer.
More than 400,000 boosters have been delivered across Lancashire and South Cumbria in total since the booster campaign kicked off in September, less than 48 hours after updated JCVI guidance.
Jane Scattergood, Lancashire and South Cumbria Vaccination Programme Senior Responsible Officer, said: “Demand for the booster has been extremely high in Lancashire and South Cumbria, and as soon as eligible people are getting their booster invites they are finding a venue handy for them and booking straight in.
“It means we’re getting through thousands of boosters a day. And coupled with the annual flu vaccination programme in full swing and first and second COVID-19 doses, that’s a lot of jabs!
“With COVID-19 still spreading in our communities, and other winter bugs including flu beginning to circulate, we are making sure that our most vulnerable citizens are protected.”
Professor Stephen Powis, NHS national medical director, said: “Thanks to the incredible efforts of NHS staff and volunteers more than 12 million boosters have been delivered in less than 10 weeks since the NHS rolled out the programme within 48 hours of updated guidance.
“The NHS has once again been quick to roll out to newly eligible groups, including protecting people in their forties with a booster and providing second doses to young people, with hundreds of thousands of invites landing over the next few weeks.
“I’ve had my booster and I would urge everyone to get their vaccine whether their first, second or top-up dose as soon as possible, giving them and their loved ones vital protection over winter and the festive period.”
The NHS is vaccinating in line with Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) guidance, which was updated to include people aged 40 to 49 getting a booster, as well as recommending a second dose for 16 and 17-year-olds 12 weeks after receiving their first dose.
UKHSA has advised that where people have had COVID-19, people over 18 or under 18 and at higher risk will need to wait four weeks from the onset of symptoms or a positive test result before getting the vaccine, and people under 18 not at higher risk will need to wait at least 12 weeks.
People can get their vaccine by booking online through the national booking service or by calling 119, and GP practices are also inviting those who are eligible.
For more information on Lancashire and South Cumbria’s vaccination programme visit the dedicated COVID-19 vaccination page.