NHS urges people to have a ‘Jabby New Year’ as Covid booster drive continues in effort to battle Omicron
The NHS Covid vaccination programme is contacting hundreds of thousands more people this week urging them to book a booster and have a ‘Jabby New Year’.
Some 650,000 text messages and 50,000 letters are being sent to people who have not yet had their vital top-up vaccine, encouraging them to get boosted now.
There are more than a million appointments available through the national booking system between now and New Year’s Day (Saturday, January 1).
Dr Emily Lawson, head of the NHS Covid Vaccination Programme, said: “The NHS Covid vaccination programme continues to break records with almost 250,000 people jabbed on Monday, the second-highest number for a Bank Holiday so far.
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“We are contacting hundreds of thousands of people this week urging them to ensure they have maximum protection in the face of the threat from Omicron.
“Experts are clear that two doses does not give the protection we need from the new strain so everyone eligible should get boosted now and enjoy a Jabby New Year.
“There are more than one million appointments available before January 1 and getting vaccinated is the best way to protect yourself, your family and your friends as we head in to 2022, whether it be a first, second or booster dose.”
NHS national medical director Professor Stephen Powis said: “The evidence is clear. Not getting vaccinated against Covid puts you at greater risk of serious illness and death.
“Getting vaccinated is the best way to protect yourself, your family and your friends.
“It also means that you are much less likely to end up in a hospital bed that could otherwise be used to treat someone else.”
The NHS Covid vaccination programme has not stopped over the festive period, with more than 214,000 ‘jingle jabs’ reported across Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day, including 184,445 boosters.
More than seven in 10 eligible people aged 18 and over have now received their top-up protection against Covid-19, and over half of all people in their thirties who are eligible have also had their life-saving booster.
All eligible people aged 18 and over can now use the National Booking Service to make an appointment to get their jab at one of the thousands of centres across the country.