New data from NHS England has revealed that over 10 million people have received their COVID-19 booster.
The NHS has recently welcomed more people to get their COVID-19 booster, including people over 50. This is to provide additional protection against COVID-19 during winter when more people are more vulnerable. Now, over 10 million people have been vaccinated with the bivalent COVID-19 booster.
Deputy Chief Medical Officer for England Dr Thomas Waite, said: “As winter approaches, we can expect to see both flu and covid cases rise, so it’s really encouraging to see more than 10 million people have already received their covid booster.
“Getting vaccinated against both viruses is the most important thing you can do to reduce your chances of getting seriously ill. If you’re eligible, now is the time to come forward to top up your protection ahead of winter”.
A growing response to COVID-19 booster vaccines in England
Last week, around 2.3 million people received their autumn COVID-19 booster, which surpasses the average delivery of two million COVID-19 vaccines per week throughout October.
The COVID-19 booster is available to 26 million people and is being offered at a record number of vaccination sites and community facilities such as pharmacies and GP surgeries. Furthermore, 33 million people are also eligible for their flu vaccine, which can be administered at the same time as the COVID-19 booster.
The NHS is warning of a ‘twindemic’, which is the combination of flu and COVID-19. The public is being urged to get both their jabs.
NHS Director of Vaccinations and Screening Steve Russell said: “Thanks to the incredible efforts of staff, the NHS Covid-19 vaccination programme has now delivered more than 10 million autumn boosters in less than two months, providing vital protection to those most susceptible to Covid-19 ahead of winter.
“We are continuing to invite and encourage everyone eligible who has yet to take up the offer of a covid booster or flu jab to come forward with the threat of a ‘twindemic’ from both viruses circulating this winter.
“If you have not yet been able to take up the offer, it has never been easier or more convenient to book your jabs with a record number of sites delivering covid jabs this year and the ability to book your flu vaccination on the National Booking Service as part of a pilot for the first time – please book in without delay”.
Preparing for a challenging winter
The drive to get as many people vaccinated will help the NHS prepare for a challenging winter. Currently, frontline health and social care workers, and those at a higher risk due to a weakened immune system, a learning disability or pregnancy and over 50s are eligible for the COVID-19 booster vaccine. Plus, the NHS will be releasing more plans in the upcoming week to boost the capacity of healthcare facilities.
The NHS has announced a range of new plans to alleviate pressures on healthcare, including rapid response teams for people who have fallen and 24/7 control centres.