People in England aged under 50 urged to get free Covid booster, states a Guardian news source.
Free Covid booster
People in England aged 49 and younger are being urged to come forward for their free Covid booster if they have not yet received a full set of injections.
The NHS has said Sunday 12 February will be the last day people in this age group can attend a vaccination site for their primary doses, while hundreds of thousands of appointments will be available for booster jabs.
Risk of serious illness
After this date, the vaccines will only be offered to people considered to be at risk of serious illness, as recommended by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI).
There are 2,800 sites open across the country next week, with 391,000 appointments available before the programme scales down. So far, 15,000 people had booked a Covid vaccine for next week, the NHS said.
The autumn booster vaccination campaign commenced in early September last year.
The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation has advised that the 2021 booster offer (third dose) for people aged 16 to 49 years who are not in a clinical risk group should close, in alignment with the end of the autumn 2022 booster vaccination campaign.
About 17.3 million people had a booster jab over the winter and overall, 144.5m doses have been delivered across Britain since the start of the pandemic.
NHS director of vaccinations and screening
The health and social care secretary, Steve Barclay, and the NHS director of vaccinations and screening, Steve Russell, urged people to take the final opportunity to get the vaccine.
Russell said: “There is just one week left of the autumn booster campaign and so if you are eligible for a booster but have yet to take up your latest dose, please do so before the end of next week.
“Whether you have had previous doses or a bout of Covid, we know that a booster is the best way to maintain protection against serious illness from Covid 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.”
Barclay added: “Our hardworking NHS staff and volunteers have done an incredible job getting jabs into arms, and they’re on hand to top up your immunity and keep you and your loved ones protected.”
Coronavirus infections in the UK
Coronavirus infections in the UK have dropped for a fourth week in a row, and are at a level last seen at the start of last autumn.
Infections are not falling across all age groups, however, with increases in England among primary and secondary schoolchildren, and in 35- to 49-year-olds.
The recent decrease in the number of Covid patients in hospital has also come to a halt, as health experts said there were “concerning” signs the number may be rising.
A total of 941,800 people in private households in the UK were likely to have had Covid-19 in the week ending 24 January, down 15% from 1.1 million the previous week, according to the Office for National Statistics.
This is the lowest UK total since the week ending 14 September 2022.
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Source: The Guardian