Have you got your Covid autumn booster yet?

NHS urges six million people to get their Covid autumn boosters



Almost six million at-risk individuals or people over 65 who haven't yet had their autumn booster will be reminded to book a shot as soon as possible.



Since it launched just a month ago, the NHS's fastest and largest vaccination program has already provided over 5.5 million life-saving autumn top-ups for Covid.



More than 6.6 million people who are most susceptible to serious illness from covid, including those over 65, with suppressed immune systems, pregnant, with learning disabilities, and others, are urged to book in as soon as possible.



The NHS will allow those at risk to self-declare - there is no need to wait for an invite; participants are welcome to attend walk-in clinics or book online at www.nhs.uk/book-covid-booster. It is possible to make an appointment at one of over three thousand sites or to get a shot at a walk-in clinic, and anyone who needs help making an appointment should call 119.



A variety of email, letter, and text reminders have already begun to arrive from Monday as NHS leaders urge patients to get their free Covid booster and flu vaccine ahead of a potential "twindemic" this winter with the infection rate has already begun to rise.



According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), one in 50 people in England had Covid in the week ending 26th September - an increase of about a quarter - with more than 9,500 patients admitted to hospitals with Covid-19.



There is already a lot of preparation going on in the NHS for winter, including an increase in bed capacity and a higher number of 999 and NHS 111 call handlers.



Professor Sir Stephen Powis, NHS medical director, said:



“The number of people with Covid in hospitals across England has risen by more than a third, creating the threat of a twindemic this winter. NHS staff and volunteers have already delivered more than five million doses in four weeks, with hundreds of thousands booking vaccines every day. “



According to NHS director of vaccinations and screening, Steve Russell:



“Despite delivering over five million autumn boosters - which is outstanding progress and a testament to the hard work of NHS staff and volunteers - millions more people are eligible for the life-saving dose. In order to maximize their protection against the virus, we urge all those eligible to get their Covid-19 autumn booster this weekend. “



Dr Caroline Johnson, Minister of Public Health and Mental Health, said:



“More than five million people have already been vaccinated with Covid boosters thanks to the hardworking NHS staff and volunteers. "As winter approaches and Covid cases continue to rise, everyone who is eligible should get their booster and flu shots. “



The NHS vaccination programme has been the most successful in the history of the health service. Since the Covid-19 vaccine was introduced, more than 127 million vaccines have been administered. With appointments being offered at more than 3,100 sites this year, the trend shows no signs of slowing down.



The NHS is also currently distributing this year's flu vaccine, with eligible individuals able to get their flu jab and Covid shot at the same time.



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