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The NHS is inviting more than one million high-risk people to come forward for Covid booster jabs.
Hundreds of thousands of text messages and letter invitations are due to be sent out this week as part of the latest phase of the vaccination programme.
Almost 850,000 people have already booked in for their top-up jab since the national booking system opened for bookings for boosters on September 21.
Meanwhile, more than 79 million vaccinations have been delivered – with nearly nine in 10 adults having had their first dose since December 2020.
The NHS is currently offering booster jabs to those who had their second vaccine at least six months ago, are living in residential care homes for older adults, are over 50, or are frontline health and social care workers.
It is also inviting 16 to 49-year-olds with underlying health conditions that put them at higher risk of severe symptoms and adults who have household contact with immunosuppressed individuals.
NHS England’s chief executive Amanda Pritchard said: “In just a few days, the NHS has seen almost 850,000 people book in for their vital booster jabs and we will this week be inviting a further one million people who are most at risk from Covid to get this crucial top-up to their protection.
“I encourage anyone who has received an invite to come forward for their booster jab as soon as they can and protect themselves and their loved ones this winter.”
Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid said: “Thanks to the extensive preparations of the NHS, the autumn booster programme is being rolled out rapidly to those most at risk and a further one million people are being invited to come forward this week.
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“A booster vaccine will prolong the protection they have already developed from first and second doses ahead of the winter.
“I urge everyone eligible to get their Covid-19 and flu vaccines as soon as they can.”
The booster programme is being delivered through existing sites including pharmacies, hospital hubs, GP practices and vaccination centres, and in line with guidance from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), people will receive either one dose of Pfizer or half a dose of Moderna.
But the NHS also said people could be offered a booster dose of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine if they cannot have the Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna vaccine.
This latest phase comes shortly after the NHS began vaccinating 16 and 17-year olds with a single dose.
Vaccinations have also begun for children aged 12 to 15 at schools after the Government accepted the UK chief medical officers’ recommendation to extend the vaccine offer to this age group.
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