Over 1.6 million people in England to receive Covid booster invite next week

30 October 2021, 00:15

More than 1.6 million people are newly eligible for the Covid booster vaccine.
More than 1.6 million people are newly eligible for the Covid booster vaccine. Picture: Alamy

By Emma Soteriou

More than 1.6 million people who are newly eligible will receive invites for their Covid booster jabs next week.

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It comes after guidance from the UK Heath Security Agency (UKHSA) was updated to allow booster vaccines to be given to vulnerable people sooner than six months after a second dose, but only where it makes "operational sense".

Eligible people include adults over 50, those living in care homes, frontline health and social care workers, adults with underlying health conditions which make them more vulnerable to the virus, and those they live with.

So far, around 9.5 million booster invites have already been sent to people in England, with more than six million jabs having been delivered in the first six weeks of the rollout, according to NHS England.

More than half of eligible people aged over 50 and over two thirds of people over 80 have received the third dose, the service said.

Read more: Who is eligible for the Covid-19 booster and when can you get it?

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Deputy lead of the NHS vaccination programme, Dr Nikki Kanani, said the figures were "encouraging" and advised anyone who receives an invite to take up the offer.

Dr Kanani said: "It is encouraging to see that thanks to the efforts of NHS staff, millions of people have received their booster already and just over six weeks in, with over half of eligible over 50s already protected as we head into winter like no other.

"I've recently had my booster at a local pharmacy and with more people becoming eligible every day I would encourage anyone who receives their text or letter invite to book an appointment and get their potentially life-saving top-up jab as soon as they can.

Read more: PM says vaccines are the 'way through winter' and repeats plea for booster jabs

"The vaccine is simple, quick and effective and will help us to give the country maximum protection from the virus."

Most people who are eligible for boosters will be invited for the shot around six months after their second dose, so the number of eligible people changes daily.

Text invites come from "NHSvaccine" and include a link to the NHS website, guiding people to their nearest vaccine site.