The NHS in London delivered a record-breaking week of over 650,000 booster vaccines and third doses last week, pushing the capital toward the milestones of 3 million top-up jabs and 15 million vaccinations overall.
The number of boosters and third doses given were *double the previous week, as NHS staff and volunteers accelerated the booster campaign to protect the city from the new Omicron variant.
As new sites joined the call to arms at the weekend, including Wembley Stadium and Chelsea Football Club’s Stamford Bridge, over 200,000 top-up vaccines were delivered on just Saturday and Sunday alone – in a bid to protect Londoners in time for the festive season.
Since last 13 December, the day after the announcement of the new national mission to offer all adults a booster by the end of December, NHS staff in London have been working flat out to increase appointments across the country, delivering over three million more boosters since the Prime Minister addressed the nation on Sunday night.
Between 12 – 19 December, 657,684 booster and third doses were reported in London, with first doses also increasing by almost half this Saturday compared to the same time last week, as 6217 more Londoners joined the mission to get protected from Covid-19.
While the NHS has now boosted over 3 million people in the capital, the city’s top doctor and Medical Director for the NHS in London, Dr Vin Diwakar, is still calling for more eligible Londoners to come forward for their vaccine at the many convenient locations across the city.
Dr Diwakar said: “It is testament to the solidarity of Londoners that 15million vaccines have now been given in the capital, and that we are seeing record breaking numbers getting their booster, in addition to the increasing numbers of people coming forward for their first or second dose.
“The greatest gift Londoners can give this festive period to protect their loved ones against death and serious disease from Omicron, and allow us all to do the things we love, is to get their life-saving jab – and to make this easier than ever we continue to ramp up sites across the capital thanks to NHS staff, local councils, partners and volunteers who have made this possible in such a short space of time.”
To protect the nation from the threat of the Omicron strain, all adults aged 18 and over are now able to snap up their booster slots on the national booking service.
New appointment slots are added every day, and if unable to book during busy times keep trying as you will get through.
There are now over 400 vaccination sites in the capital and around 3,000 sites across the country, with 99% of the country living within 10 miles of a site.
The thousands of sites include double the number of hospitals offering jabs to the public, staff and patients, increasing from 30 to 71 in two weeks.
People can have a booster three months after their second jab, following updated guidance from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation.
Vaccination sites have been asked to operate 12 hours a day, seven days a week wherever possible and in every community there should be slots available at least 16 hours a day – with some sites extending to 24- hour operation to make it easier for people who work shift patterns.
This comes following recent data from the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) showing two doses of the vaccine are not enough to stop people becoming unwell from Omicron, but other data suggesting a booster significantly increases protection against the variant.
People who are yet to have one vaccination are also urged to come forward as it has never been more important that they book now.
People aged 18 and over have recently become eligible to book a booster, although it is important that people do not get vaccinated within 28 days of having had the COVID-19 virus.
Academics also found this week that the immunity generated after a booster jab rises much more quickly than that after a first immune response, offering better potential protection in the run-up to Christmas.
The NHS yesterday announced the national booking service had opened for 12-15-year olds to get their second COVID-19 jab, as part of the national mission to get people protected against the new Omicron variant.
Thousands of volunteers and paid staff are also being recruited to support the delivery of the vaccine programme, and anyone interested in helping the NHS is being urged to search ‘COVID vaccine team’ to find out more.
Photo credit: Christian Emmer, emmer.com.ar Copyright: © 2015 Christian Emmer