‘Get vaccinated in time for Christmas’ call as NHS in the North West celebrates COVID-19 vaccine anniversary

Date posted: 7th December 2023 ‘Get vaccinated in time for Christmas’ call as NHS in the North West celebrates COVID-19 vaccine anniversary thumbnail image

In this latest phase of the biggest and fastest vaccination programme in NHS history, more than 1.3 million autumn doses have been given to people who are at risk of serious illness or long-term effects from the virus - part of over 19 million vaccines given in the region since the programme launched on 8 December 2020.

Now, with less than a week to go until the national booking service for COVID-19 and flu vaccinations closes on Thursday, 14 December, regional director for commissioning and senior responsible officer for the vaccination programme, Dr Linda Charles-Ozuzu, is calling on people to come forward while it is quick and easy to book.

She said: “It only takes a few moments to book your flu and COVID-19 vaccines online. Many people have already taken up the offer this year, but with under a week to go until online bookings close, we’re urging those who haven’t yet come forward to do so.

“People who are vaccinated over the next week will be able to generate the immunity they need to protect themselves and others in time for mixing with family and friends over the Christmas and New Year period.”

Reflecting on the three-year anniversary, she added: “The COVID-19 vaccine has reduced the impact previously seen by the virus in our communities, and also on our critical care services. It can reduce the risk of developing COVID-19, make symptoms milder, and help build immunity against the virus, so that we can fight off infection.

“I’m very proud of the success of the COVID-19 vaccination programme in the region over the past three years, it is a great example of what can be achieved by working in partnership.”

People aged 6 months to 64 with certain health conditions, people who are immunosuppressed due to a health condition or medical treatment, pregnant women and people with a learning disability are eligible for Covid vaccine this autumn, alongside everyone aged 65+ and frontline health and social care workers.

More than 920,000 people aged 65 and over in the region have received their COVID-19 vaccination, but there are still thousands more people who can safeguard their health this winter.

All eligible adults can book their flu and COVID-19 vaccinations by visiting www.nhs.uk/seasonalvaccinations, on the NHS App or by calling 119. Some pharmacies and other vaccine services offer walk-in clinics and people can search for their nearest location on the NHS website.

Although some walk-in sites and mobile clinics will be delivering COVID-19 vaccinations up to 31 January 2024, bookings on the NHS National Booking Service and NHS App will be closed from 15 December, making 14 December the last date to make a booking.

The 119 service, which provides booking support for those unable to access online services, will also close for bookings from 15 December, but it will continue answering queries until 22 December.

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