The spring NHS Covid booster programme is now open and will start inviting eligible, vulnerable people to receive their life-saving booster vaccinations.
The NHS Covid booster is being offered to those most at risk from SARS-CoV-2 infection, including people older than 75 or immunosuppressed, with bookings open from 7am today. The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation has urged that the most vulnerable get their booster vaccination as a precautionary measure.
The NHS will invite people to receive their jab via the national booking service. There will be nearly five million people eligible for their NHS Covid booster during the campaign, with around 600,000 invited for their vaccine this week alone.
Nikki Kanani, GP and Deputy SRO for the NHS Covid Vaccination Programme, said: “Sadly, we are still seeing large numbers of people seriously unwell in hospital with Covid, so it remains vital that those most at risk come forward when they are invited to do so. The response so far from the public to the largest and most successful vaccination programme in NHS history has been incredible, with more than nine in 10 people aged 75 and over getting their initial booster. The NHS Covid vaccination programme is once again ready to get people protected, so when you are invited, please do come forward for your spring dose.”
Saving lives through the NHS Covid booster initiative
Data from the UK Health Security Agency demonstrates that the NHS Covid booster programme has prevented around 157,000 hospitalisations since mid-December. Despite these efforts, NHS hospitals have treated in excess of 100,000 patients with Covid since the beginning of the Omicron variant outbreak.
The NHS is expecting a high uptake of the spring booster vaccines in people over 75 following the excellent vaccination rates among this population in Autumn and Winter, where over 4.5 million received their top-up jab. To date, the UK vaccination programme has delivered more than 117 million vaccinations, including over 32 million boosters.
How to get your booster
People eligible can book their Covid booster online at nhs.uk/covidvaccine or by calling 119, with lines open every day from 8am to 8pm and are free from mobiles and landlines. 119 can provide support in 200 languages. The NHS has recruited additional call handlers to support the vaccination drive to make booking a booster vaccine more efficient.
NHS teams will be contacting their local care homes to ensure that those who need the vaccine most have access. Sites such as community pharmacies, vaccination centres, and hospital hubs will be utilised to perform the vaccinations as they have throughout the pandemic.
Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid said: “Spring boosters will help top up the immunity of the elderly and the most vulnerable to ensure they are protected and will help us continue to live with this virus. Thanks to the NHS for rising to the challenge yet again to get people boosted. Please come forward as soon as you are contacted.”
Vaccines Minister Maggie Throup said: “We are absolutely determined to protect those most vulnerable to Covid. Please take up the offer of a spring booster as soon as you are contacted by the NHS – it will protect you and ensure we can continue to enjoy our freedoms.”