A senior doctor in the Midlands today urged everyone who is eligible to get their booster jab, as new figures show the NHS vaccination programme racked up record numbers of jabs this weekend.
Dr Nigel Sturrock, NHS medical director for the Midlands called on everyone who qualifies for a booster jab, but has not yet received one, to book an appointment and get vaccinated before Christmas.
The call came after hard working NHS staff delivered record-breaking figures on Saturday 18 December. Over 14,300 vaccinations were delivered in Northamptonshire on Saturday, 13,000 were boosters, making it the most successful day of the vaccination programme since it started on 8 December 2020 (the previous biggest day was in May when 10,500 were delivered)*.
NHS medical director for the Midlands, Dr Nigel Sturrock, said: “With Omicron cases soaring and two doses of the vaccine not providing the protection we need it is vital to get a booster and lower your risk of serious illness or hospitalisation.
“Like all medicines, the COVID vaccines can cause side effects, but please don’t be put off. Any side effects are often mild and short lived, but the benefit of having the booster for you, your family and your friends is substantial – getting boosted is our best hope of protecting people against the new variant.”
UK Health Security Agency data shows that two doses of a COVID vaccine are not enough to stop people becoming unwell from Omicron, but a third booster prevents around 75% of people getting any COVID symptoms.
Anyone aged 18 or over is eligible for a booster jab three months after their second dose following updated guidance from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation on 29 November.
Anyone in the region who has not had their first or second dose is also encouraged to book an appointment as soon as possible as it has never been more important that they book now and get protected.
Chris Pallot, Director of Northamptonshire COVID-19 Vaccination Programme, said: “We’re making fantastic progress in our mission to rollout out boosters to all adults in Northamptonshire as soon as possible. Last week we delivered 68,600 boosters which was higher than our target – but we need go further and I urge all those who have not yet done so to book their booster or find a local walk-in centre and Get Boosted Now.
“We are making it even easier for people to their vaccines. We are ramping up capacity, offering extended opening hours, standing up vaccination pop up clinics where needed and supporting more GPs and community pharmacies to be able to offer lifesaving jabs across Northamptonshire. This week will also see the introduction of a mobile vaccination service which will be located at areas of lower uptake in an attempt to reach as many parts of the county as possible.
“The best way to get your booster quickly is by booking online at nhs.uk/covidvaccination, calling 119 or visiting a local drop-in clinic – the latest details can be found at www.northamptonshire.gov.uk/covidvaccine. There are plenty of vaccines available for everyone and we need each and every one of you to step forward and protect yourself, your loved ones and our communities this winter.”
Several drop-in vaccination clinics are available around the county this week. Thousands of appointments have also been made available across Northamptonshire as the NHS prepares to vaccinate as many as possible against COVID-19 before New Year’s Eve. There are over 20,000 appointments available at sites this week across the county which can be booked via nhs.uk/covidvaccination.
Chris continues: “We cannot afford to get complacent or slow down, book your COVID-19 jabs now and encourage your family and friends to do so too. It could be the most important thing you do before Christmas.”
A full list of drop-in vaccination sessions available around the county without an appointment is available at www.northamptonshire.gov.uk/covidvaccine. More clinics and appointments are being added daily.