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NHS launches spring Covid-19 booster for older and vulnerable people as virus cases surge



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OLDER and vulnerable people are now being invited to “top-up” their protection with a spring Covid-19 booster amid a nationwide surge in cases.

The NHS vaccination programme entered a new phase today (Monday) as it started offering a fourth jab to over-75s, care home residents and those aged 12 and over who are immunosuppressed.

In line with new advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation, eligible groups will be contacted when it is their turn to be vaccinated.

A fourth jab is being offered to over-75s (picture: Nordin Catic)
A fourth jab is being offered to over-75s (picture: Nordin Catic)

Once invited by the NHS, people can book their appointment through the national booking system either online at nhs.uk/covidvaccine or by calling NHS 119.

Around five million across the country will be given the opportunity to get a spring booster during the campaign, with over 600,000 set to be contacted this week.

This comes as high numbers of Coronavirus cases continue to be reported each day, with this being blamed on the highly transmissible Omicron variant and a sub-variant thought to be even more transmissible.

Hospital admissions have also been steadily increasing week on week.

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.”

Recent research from the UK Health Security Agency has shown that the NHS booster programme helped prevent around 157,000 hospitalisations since mid-December.

NHS chief executive Amanda Pritchard said: “We have protected millions of people at speed thanks to the efforts of our staff, aided by volunteers. They will once again rise to the next challenge.

“There is no need to contact the NHS – when you are eligible for your ‘spring boost’ of protection, we will be in touch so you can book your appointment at one of hundreds of vaccination sites across the country.”

Eligible adults will be offered either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, while those aged between 12 and 18 will be offered the Pfizer vaccine.

The NHS also continues to offer first, second and third doses for those yet to come forward.

Health and social care secretary Sajid Javid said: “Our phenomenal vaccination programme has saved countless lives and built a wall of defence which has allowed us to learn to live with Covid.

“Following the massive success of the rollout so far, we are now offering over-75s and the most vulnerable a spring booster dose to top-up their protection against this virus."



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