IMAGE: AP/PTI/Representative Image
The UK on Saturday, 18 September 2021, announced that it will send an invitation for the COVID booster jab to one and a half million people, approximately 15 Lakh this week, the NHS England said in a press release, as it marks the beginning of the new phase of the vaccination programme ahead of the winters. The Boris Johnson administration will send out texts to those eligible for a third coronavirus shot from Monday, 20 September 2021. Those eligible were asked to top-up for the jabs on the UK’s National Booking Service. The booster shots have been approved in England for the population aged 50 and above. It is mandatory to have received the second vaccine at least six months ago.
Dr Nikki Kanani, GP and deputy lead for the COVID vaccination programme, said: “The NHS COVID vaccination programme has already prevented 24 million cases and saved more than 112,000 lives.” He added, “As we head into winter we should not drop our guard so I would urge everyone to come forward and get a booster vaccination when then they are invited."
“Getting a top-up vaccine is the best way to protect yourself and your loved ones from this cruel virus,” UK’s deputy lead for the COVID vaccination programme stressed.
According to NHS England, the COVID-19 booster jabs invitations follow fresh guidance from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation last week. The booster jabs were delivered less than 48 hours after it was issued. Brits will be able to book an appointment online on the NHS website or by placing a call to the government dedicated 119. Millions of more invites are set to be issued in the coming days and weeks, says NHS, and the hospital hubs have already started vaccinating more vulnerable frontline health and care workers. Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid urged the Brits that will receive a letter or text to get their jab to show up at their appointment as soon as possible “so we can strengthen the wall of defence across the country that each vaccine brings”.
“It is excellent that getting your booster jab has now become even easier, thanks to the opening of the National Booking Service to those eligible,” Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid said. He added, “Booster doses are an important way of keeping the virus under control for the long term and will protect the most vulnerable through the winter months.”
UK has already delivered more than 77 million vaccinations under the NHS COVID vaccination programme. Boris Johnson government heeded the CMO’s advice following the JCVI’s recommendation of booster for the vulnerable populations. Maternity support worker Catherine Cargill was one of the first to take up her booster at Croydon University Hospital in the UK. According to NHS, England, four in five adults have already received both doses of COVID-19 vaccine, which means that they would be eligible to receive either one dose of the Pfizer vaccine or half a dose of the Moderna vaccine. A booster dose of the Oxford/AstraZeneca may also be administered.