More than half of eligible patients in the South East have received their spring Covid booster jabs

A Pharmacist prepares the vaccine in a pop-up Vaccination clinic at the Oxford Brookes University Headington Campus in Oxford. Unvaccinated university students have been urged to get a Covid jab in freshers' week to protect themselves and their peers against the virus. Picture date: Friday September 17, 2021. Steve Parsons/PA
Around 974,000 people across the South East are eligible for this dose of the Covid vaccine Credit: PA images

More than half of those eligible for a Covid spring booster vaccination in the South East have been jabbed.

The NHS in the region has vaccinated 533,683 people in just six weeks in the latest phase of the rollout of the booster programme.

They include those most vulnerable to Covid, such as people aged 75 and over, older adult care home residents and those who are immunosuppressed.

In total, around 974,000 people across the South East are eligible for this dose, in line with JCVI guidance.

Local NHS teams have already contacted care homes in their area, similar to previous rollouts, and arranged spring boosters for people who are eligible.

The NHS is now encouraging anyone eligible who has not yet taken up the offer of a booster to come forward to ensure they are receiving the maximum possible protection.

People aged 75 and over, older adult care home residents and those who are immunosuppressed have been able to get their spring booster since 21 March.

People from all backgrounds are being encouraged to join the NHS vaccine registry to help the fight against Covid-19. Credit: PA

Alongside hundreds of thousands of invites, reminders have been sent by the NHS to those who are eligible for their spring booster.

Caroline Reid, Covid Vaccination Programme Lead for the NHS in the South East of England, said: “It’s a testament to the hardworking NHS staff and volunteers across the region that in just over six weeks more than half of those entitled to a spring booster are now protected.

“The NHS is continuing to invite thousands of people every single week and I’d encourage everyone offered the dose to take it up – it has always been, and remains, our best defence against Covid. Please come forward as soon as you’re eligible to protect yourself.”

Healthcare workers and volunteers have delivered jabs at thousands of sites including shopping centres, racecourses, theme parks, places of worship and even a curry house as well as hospitals, GP surgeries, care homes and at community pharmacies.

Recent research from the UK Health Security Agency showed that the NHS booster programme has helped prevent around 186,000 hospitalisations since mid-December.

Meanwhile, a report from the National Audit Office has said the NHS Vaccination Programme met “stretching and unprecedented targets” as it helped save lives and reduce hospital admissions – all while making effective use of public money.