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Almost three million have had a spring Covid booster

by Louise McEvoy
9 May 2022

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Almost three million people who are the most vulnerable to Covid have had their spring booster jab in the six weeks since the latest phase of the NHS Covid vaccination programme started. 

This means more than half – 2.8 million – of the 5.5 million people eligible for the jab by the end of June have so far been protected, according to figures from Thursday, May 5. 

Those eligible include people aged 75 and over, older adult care home residents and those who are immunosuppressed. 

The NHS is inviting hundreds of thousands of people for their spring booster weekly, as more people become eligible, and is urging people to come forward as soon as they are eligible

However, GP practices are being urged by NHS England to help identify immunosuppressed and housebound patients who are eligible for a spring Covid booster but have not yet received one, because ‘uptake isn’t as high’ among these two groups compared with other eligible cohorts. 

Steve Russell, national director for vaccinations, said: ‘In just over six weeks since the NHS Covid vaccination programme began rolling out spring jabs, hardworking teams up and down the country have pulled out all the stops to ensure more than half of those entitled to a spring booster are now protected. 

‘The NHS will continue to invite people when they are due for a vaccination, so it is vital you come and get your top-up when we contact you.’ 

Dr Nikki Kanani, GP and deputy lead for the NHS vaccination programme, said she would ‘encourage everyone offered the dose to take it up – it has always been, and remains, our best defence against Covid.’ 

Health secretary Sajid Javid said ‘excellent progress’ has been made on the latest rollout of Covid vaccinations, and that the ‘the wall of defence provided by vaccines is allowing us to live with this virus and get back to doing the things we’ve missed.’ 

People aged 75 and over, older adult care home residents and those who are immunosuppressed have been able to get their spring booster since 21 March

Alongside more than three million invites, over 712,000 reminders have been sent by the NHS to those who are eligible for their spring booster. 

This story was initially published on our sister title The Pharmacist.