Next stage of ground-breaking NHS vaccine programme kicks off

The autumn Covid-19 booster campaign is set to kick off today as the NHS pivots its focus to the next stage of its ground-breaking vaccination programme.

Millions of people will be invited to book their appointments from Wednesday with approximately seven million people, ranging from the over 75s, the immunosuppressed, and other health professionals, able to schedule jabs either online or by calling 119.

GP practices, community pharmacies, and other health settings are expected to form the record 3,100 sites that will take part in the rollout, with new locations being added to the programme all the time.

Around 1.6 million care home residents are eligible for this next dose, with vaccination teams expected to visit more than 700 care homes this week alone and thousands more by the end of the month.

NHS chief executive, Amanda Pritchard, said: “Once again, the NHS is kicking off a life-saving vaccination campaign to protect the nation ahead of winter, starting with those most vulnerable to serious illness and hospitalisation from Covid and flu.

“NHS staff have been working incredibly hard to prepare for the latest phase of the Covid vaccine rollout – the biggest and fastest in our 74 year history – with a record number of sites in local communities set to offer vaccinations to millions of people.

“When the booking service opens on Wednesday, don’t delay – the best way to protect yourself from serious illness this winter is to get the vaccine when invited to do so, as well as your annual flu jab if eligible.”

Amongst the launch, there will also be 80 hospital hubs delivering booster jabs to members of the public, as well as the flu jab where possible.

Since that historical moment in December 2020 when the NHS became the first health system in the world to deliver the Covid-19 vaccine to Maggie Keenan in Coventry, over 126 million jabs have been administered, equating to the fastest and largest vaccination campaign in NHS history.

NHS director of vaccinations and screening, Steve Russell, said: “NHS staff are set to pull out all the stops to deliver the next phase of the NHS Covid-19 vaccination programme at speed once again, with more than 3,000 sites up and down the country involved.

“From Wednesday, over seven million people who are over 75, immunocompromised or a frontline health and care worker will be able to book an appointment from the following week – and if you are receiving an invite then please book in at the earliest opportunity to get the maximum protection ahead of winter”.

The NHS will contact you when it is your turn to schedule an appointment for the vaccine; you do not need to book a appointment yourself.

More information about the launch is available here.

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