Over one million booster jabs handed out to tackle Covid -19 Omicron variant in Portsmouth, Hampshire and Isle of Wight

MORE than a million people across Hampshire and Isle of Wight have now received their Covid-19 booster jab.

Friday, 31st December 2021, 11:13 am
Updated Friday, 31st December 2021, 11:28 am

As of New Year’s Eve, 1,005,487 booster jabs have been handed out – marking a major milestone for the vaccination programme.

From Monday, mass vaccination centres in Portsmouth, Southampton and Isle of Wight will open for walk-ins to continue the effort.

Maggie MacIsaac, chief executive of Hampshire and Isle of Wight Integrated Care System (ICS), said: ‘This is an incredible achievement and testament to the outstanding continued efforts of everyone supporting the vaccination programme locally for the benefit of our communities.

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More than a million people across Hampshire and Isle of Wight have now received their COVID-19 booster jab, with staff at Portsmouth hospitals being at the forefront of the vaccination efforts. Picture: Sarah Standing (010221-1976).

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‘A huge thank you to all those involved.

‘We don't stop here - we will now redouble our efforts to ensure as many people as possible receive their booster, maximising their protection against Covid-19.’

Maggie added there will be more opportunities to get a booster jab in the future.

More GP practices, outreach clinics, hospital hubs, mass vaccination centres and pharmacies will provide walk-in inoculations in the coming days.

Vaccination centres run by Solent NHS Trust at St James’s Hospital, Portsmouth, Riverside on the Isle of Wight and in Oakley Road, Southampton, will open for walk-ins from 8am to 8pm everyday from Monday.

Extra appointments slots in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight will also be added to the NHS Booking Service.

Dr Matt Nisbet, GP and clinical lead of the COVID-19 Vaccination Programme, said a booster jab is critical for extra protection against the Omicron variant.

He said: ‘Health and care teams have worked tirelessly to rapidly increase the availability of COVID-19 vaccines across Hampshire and Isle of Wight in recent weeks.

‘Latest evidence shows that two vaccines to do not give us the protection we need from Omicron due to the speed at which the variant spreads.

‘However a booster can restore protection to around 75 per cent, so I strongly encourage everyone eligible to take up the offer of a booster as soon as possible.’

Angela Anderson, deputy chief nurse at Solent NHS Trust, said she is proud her team contributed to the vaccine milestone.

She said: ‘This achievement is testament to all the staff and volunteers working in the vaccination programme.

‘It’s been fantastic to see so many people coming forward to get their COVID-19 vaccinations, and knowing that we have contributed to this significant milestone.’

Staff at Portsmouth hospitals have contributed significantly to the fight against Covid-19.

Penny Emerit, chief executive at Portsmouth Hospitals University NHS Trust (PHU), said over 70,000 vaccinations have been administered at the vaccination hub – including first and second doses, boosters and flu jabs.

She urges more people to get a booster if they haven’t already.

Penny said: ‘I am incredibly proud of everyone involved to support the delivery of boosters, it wouldn’t have been possible without the hard work and dedication of our colleagues across the system.

‘The transmissibility of the Omicron variant means it is more important than ever for people to get their booster jab, to help protect themselves and their loved ones this winter and reduce the risk of being admitted to hospital.’

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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