Million jab milestone celebrated in Oxford but health bosses planning for another Covid wave

ITV's Mark McQuillan reports from Oxford

The boss of Oxford Health has told ITV Meridian he's anticipating a need for more Covid booster jabs before the end of the year.

Nick Broughton says they have to plan for another wave of infections during the winter period, with potential new variants of the virus emerging.

The warning came as the team covering Oxfordshire, Berkshire and Buckinghamshire marked one million doses being administered.

The first vaccines were administered to the public at the Kassam stadium on February 1, 2021.

Since then the team set up new centres in Aylesbury and Reading, launched pop-up centres in Witney, Bulmershe, Hungerford, Banbury and Reading City Centre and went out to visit communities in the Health on the Move bus, including to the most recent Reading Festival.

On Friday the team met up to celebrate the achievement, and thank staff for the successful rollout.

The Oxford Health vaccination team includes vaccinators, doctors, pharmacy technicians, administrators, marshals and volunteers.

More than 1,600 colleagues have helped vaccinate people aged from 5 to over 100 years old with Astra Zeneca, Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.

Fifteen months on since that first jab, the focus has shifted, particularly in now vaccinating children.

Nick Broughton was one of the first to get the jab in February 2021

Senior clinical lead Joanna Crawley says paediatric areas have been set up so the setting is less clinical and more child-friendly:

"Children need to be staying in school and their education has been affected massively by Covid.

"So, parents are very, very keen and the uptake of 5 - 11 year old vaccinations has been incredible. So much so that we're having to triple our vaccinations every few days.

"As soon as appointments are offered, families are taking us up on those offers and booking their children in."

In Oxford, scientists are looking at developing the next vaccine, and preparing for a widescale booster programme to keep covid at bay.