The NHS is encouraging members of the public to come forward for a Covid booster jab ahead of the offer ending later this month. The current autumn campaign will come to an end next Sunday (February 12).
The offer of an initial booster jab is currently open to all aged 16-49 who are considered not at risk. The decision by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) means that February 12 will be the last opportunity to get a Covid booster jab until a future campaign is agreed by the JCVI.
According to the NHS, the NHS Covid vaccination programme has delivered 144.5 million doses of the vaccine. The JCVI is now recommending moving to a more targeted offer to those considered to be at risk of serious illness.
The NHS will continue to operate a smaller scale vaccine offer from mid-February onwards to ensure those eligible for first and second doses can still get their jabs.
The NHS is also prepared to move quickly to roll out a potential spring campaign, as well as another autumn campaign later this year, and will set out operational plans once further guidance is received
NHS Director of Vaccinations and Screening Steve Russell said: “Over the last two years the NHS COVID vaccination programme has administered almost 145 million doses and as a result, the public have widespread protection from COVID-19 and its variants – a remarkable achievement.
“Following the decision by the government to accept JCVI advice today, I would encourage anyone who has not yet had their COVID booster to book an appointment in the next couple of weeks and make the most of the offer available.
“Once the NHS receives updated guidance for the next phase of the vaccination programme, our fantastic NHS staff will make sure the vaccine is as accessible and convenient to those eligible as it has been in each of the previous campaigns”.
Health Minister Maria Caulfield said: “Our phenomenal COVID vaccination programme has saved lives, allowed us to live with COVID, and eased pressure on the health service.
“I want to encourage anyone who hasn’t had their booster jab – whether it’s your first booster or if you’re eligible for an autumn booster – to come forward before Sunday 12 February. It will top up your immunity and keep you and your loved ones protected”.