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NHS urges people yet to receive their COVID-19 booster to come forward

Sunday 12 February is the last day people under 50 years of age who are not considered at risk can receive a booster


The NHS has urged those who are yet to receive a COVID-19 booster as part of this year’s autumn vaccination programme to book one of the 'hundreds of thousands' of appointments still available before the offer ends on 12 February.

Currently, only 15,000 people have booked a booster this week, and there are still 391,000 appointments available before the programme is scaled down.

As well as being the last day of the current booster campaign, 12 February will mark the final day that those aged 16 to 49 years who are not considered at risk of severe COVID-19 will be able to receive a booster, following updated advice from the UK’s Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI).

NHS director of vaccinations and screening, Steve Russell, said: “Whether you have had previous doses or a bout of COVID-19, we know that a booster is the best way to maintain protection against serious illness from COVID-19 for yourself and your loved ones, so please do make the most of the offer while it is available and give yourself both protection and peace of mind for the year ahead.”

In its interim advice, the JCVI is now recommending that future vaccination programmes move to a ‘more targeted’ approach, offering boosters only to those considered to be at risk of serious illness, with the committee set to publish further advice in due course.

It has already advised the UK government that those at a higher risk of severe COVID-19 should be offered another booster vaccination this autumn, as well as a potential spring campaign for a smaller group of vulnerable people, such as those who are older and those who are immunosuppressed.

Professor Wei Shen Lim, chair of COVID-19 vaccination on the JCVI, said: "The COVID-19 vaccination programme continues to reduce severe disease across the population, while helping to protect the NHS.

"That is why we have advised planning for further booster vaccines for persons at higher risk of serious illness through an autumn booster programme later this year.”

The NHS said its COVID-19 vaccination programme will continue to run a smaller operation after 12 February, allowing those severely immunosuppressed – who have yet to come forward for first, second or third doses – to book appointments.

Article by
Emily Kimber

7th February 2023

From: Healthcare



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