People urged to receive booster shots to protect your family this Christmas


  • People aged 40 to 49 can reserve their booster dose from Monday if they are eligible, and 16-17 year olds their second dose, when the national reservation service opens.
  • Eligible people urged to get COVID-19 vaccine before Christmas
  • The call comes as cases rise in Europe and some countries introduce new restrictions
  • Almost 15 million recalls have been administered in the UK

From tomorrow, the National Reservation Service will be open to 40-49 year olds for their jab booster, and to 16-17 year olds for their second jab.

The booster shots and second doses will protect the progress we’ve already made from our phenomenal immunization schedule, ensuring that we can enjoy Christmas safely. People are encouraged to come forward for their jab as soon as they are eligible to get the best possible protection before winter.

New data this week has further highlighted the importance of the recall jab. UK Health Security Agency’s First Real-World Study of Booster Vaccine Effectiveness Shows Complementary Injections Boost Protection Against Symptomatic COVID-19 by Up to 90% in Adults Over 50 .

Results show that two weeks after receiving a booster dose, protection against symptomatic infections in adults aged 50 years and older was 93.1% in those with Oxford / AstraZeneca as primary treatment and 94.0% for Pfizer-BioNTech.

This means that people who received their booster shots before December 11 will have very high protection against COVID-19 by Christmas Day. Following an increase in cases and a return of lockdown restrictions in Europe, those eligible for a recall have been urged to take up the offer as soon as possible to protect themselves, their families and help reduce pressure on the NHS.

Following further advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunization (JCVI) this week, the vaccination program has expanded, with over 40s eligible for booster shots and people aged 16 and 17 able to book. a second vaccine.

People eligible for a booster can make an appointment in advance – five months after their second dose – to be vaccinated as soon as they reach the six-month mark, and the National Reservation Service opens tomorrow to the most 40 years old and 16-17 year olds. .

Almost 6 in 10 young people aged 16 to 17 have already received a first dose in England, protecting them from COVID-19, reducing transmission and helping to reduce the number of missed education. Second doses will further supplement this protection during the winter months.

People can book by calling 119 or get vaccinated at hundreds of walk-in sites across the country six months after their second walk-in dose. Eligible people can use the NHS online search engine to locate the most convenient site.

Health and Social Affairs Secretary Sajid Javid said:

Getting your COVID-19 booster shot is the best way to protect yourself and your loved ones this winter and will help reduce the pressure on the NHS.

As the government continues to monitor a wide range of data to ensure the country remains protected, we have unfortunately seen an increase in the number of cases in parts of Europe.

The most important thing we can do to stop a similar increase in this country is to get the vaccine – so please get the vaccine as soon as you can so that we can keep the virus at bay.

A total of 14 million people in the UK have already received their booster shots, ensuring crucial protection before winter.

Over 50 million first doses (88.2%) and 46 million second doses (80.2%) have been administered in the UK.

Vaccine Minister Maggie Throup said:

We need to protect the gains we made from our immunization program this winter, and I urge everyone to help make that happen.

Please get your reminders when you are eligible, and get your first and second doses if you haven’t already, to provide vital protection during the winter to keep you and your loved ones safe.

Vaccines offer high levels of protection, but immunity wanes over time, especially for the elderly and at risk groups, so it is essential that vulnerable people show up to get their COVID-19 booster vaccine for strengthen their defenses and protect themselves this winter.

The latest evidence from the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) shows that protection against symptomatic illness increases from 65%, up to three months after the second dose, to 45% six months after the second dose for the Oxford vaccine / AstraZeneca, and from 90% to 65% for the Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine. Protection against hospitalization increased from 95% to 75% for Oxford / AstraZeneca and from 99% to 90% for Pfizer / BioNTech.

Although the efficacy of the vaccine against serious illness remains high, a small change can generate a major change in hospital admissions. For example, going from 95% to 90% protection against hospitalization would double admissions among vaccinated people.

The booster program is designed to complement this declining immunity.

It’s also never too late if you haven’t received a first or second dose yet – getting the COVID-19 vaccine is the best way to protect yourself and your loved ones this winter.

COVID-19 booster vaccines have been delivered or booked to all elderly care homes in England where it can be done safely, with nearly 9 out of 10 nursing homes already visited.

Last month, clinical guidelines were updated to allow boosters to be given a little earlier to those most at risk, where it makes operational sense. This includes residents of nursing homes who may have received their second dose at different times to be vaccinated in the same session, provided that 5 months have passed since their second dose. It can also help other vulnerable groups, such as patients confined to the house, so that they can receive their flu and COVID-19 vaccines at the same time.

Dr Emily Lawson, head of the NHS COVID-19 vaccination program, said:

The NHS vaccination program continues to roll out on a large scale with more than 12 million boosters delivered in England – including around seven in 10 eligible people aged 50 and over – and 14 million in the UK in nine weeks.

As the holiday season approaches and what we know to be a difficult winter, I encourage all eligible and invited to accept the offer of a vital reminder as soon as possible to protect yourself and those who care for you. surround.

Confidence in the vaccine is high, data from the Office for National Statistics showing that almost all (94%) of people aged 50 to 69 say they would be likely to get their COVID-19 booster if it was offered to them, the figure rising to 98% for those over 70.

The flu is another winter virus that can be serious. To provide people with the best protection during the winter, people eligible for a free flu shot should show up and make an appointment with their GP or local pharmacy, or make it when their employer or other provider of the flu. health care offers it to them.

The government has launched a nationwide advertising campaign, encouraging those eligible to receive their flu booster and shots to protect themselves and their loved ones and help reduce pressure on the NHS. This includes outdoor billboards, broadcast, and community radio and television.

The offer of a first and a second COVID-19 vaccine remains open to anyone who is eligible. Vaccines are available free of charge and in thousands of vaccination centers, general practitioners’ offices and pharmacies. About 98% of people live within 10 miles of a vaccination center in England and vaccinations take place at sites such as mosques, community centers and football stadiums.

There are now more than 500 additional vaccination sites compared to April of this year, with 1,697 vaccination centers operational in April 2021 and more than 2,200 vaccination centers currently operational.

Vaccines are also available for 12 to 15 year olds to offer the best possible protection this winter in schools, as well as in more than 200 vaccination centers.


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