Spring coronavirus booster jab campaign launches today for over-75s and the vulnerable amid a rise in Covid-19 infections

VULNERABLE people in England will begin receiving invitations for the spring Covid booster from today.

By Tom Cotterill
Monday, 21st March 2022, 7:52 am
Updated Monday, 21st March 2022, 7:59 am

Bookings for the new jabs opened at 7am this morning for people aged 75 and over and those who are immunosuppressed aged 12 and over.

The booster will be made available to around five million people, with 600,000 expected to receive invitations in the first week.

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A person pictured receiving a Covid-19 jab. Coronavirus booster vaccine jabs for millions of people in England will begin to be offered this week, the NHS has announced. The vaccine will be available to care home residents, people who are 75 and over, and the immunosuppressed aged 12 and over.

Local NHS teams will also be contacting care homes to arrange the jab for people who are eligible and have been invited.

The move comes after the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) recommended the spring top-up as a precautionary measure.

Health and social care secretary Sajid Javid said: ‘Spring boosters will help top up the immunity of the elderly and the most vulnerable to ensure they are protected and will help us continue to live with this virus.

‘Thanks to the NHS for rising to the challenge yet again to get people boosted. Please come forward as soon as you are contacted.’

The NHS said it will invite people to arrange a jab through the national booking service, which can be accessed online at nhs.uk/covidvaccine or by calling 119, when it is their turn.

Recent research from the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) estimated just over 157,000 hospitalisations had been avoided through the vaccination programme since December.

But the NHS said hospitals had still treated over 100,000 since the start of the Omicron wave.

Nikki Kanani, GP and deputy SRO for the NHS Covid Vaccination Programme, said: ‘Sadly, we are still seeing large numbers of people seriously unwell in hospital with Covid so it remains vital that those most at risk come forward when they are invited to do so.

‘The response so far from the public to the largest and most successful vaccination programme in NHS history has been incredible, with more than nine in 10 people aged 75 and over getting their initial booster.

‘The NHS Covid vaccination programme is once again ready to get people protected, so when you are invited please do come forward for your spring dose.’

Health chiefs are expecting high uptake of spring boosters among people aged 75 and over after 4.5m of them had their top-up jab over autumn and winter.

It comes amid a rise in the number of infections across Portsmouth.

The latest government statistics show 198 people in Portsmouth were re-infected with Covid in the week up to March 11 – meaning they have had it at least twice with a 90 day gap between positive tests – or the equivalent of 92.2 people per 100,000 of the population.

This placed it as the highest re-infection location in the county and 42nd worst out of 358 places across the UK.

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