More than one million people booked booster jabs in less than a week

Since the emergence of the Omicron variant, more than one million people have booked their appointments for booster jabs in less than a week.

More than a million people have scheduled booster shots this week after the public was urged to get the vaccine after the Omicron variant was discovered. According to the NHS, 1,077,514 booster jab appointments have been made so far this week. As such, 3.6 million people are scheduled for their booster jab this month.

More than 16.2 million booster jabs have been booked in England since the start of the booster programme in September. Out of which,1.3 million adults are aged between 40 to 49.

Booster dose time reduced

The government stated on Monday afternoon, booster jabs would be available to all adults. This is done to expand the reach of the vaccination campaign to address the potential impact of the Omicron variant. Further, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has also accepted experts' suggestions to reduce the time between booster doses from six to three months.

Hence, NHS England's chiefs laid out plans for ramping up the rollout in the coming weeks. The new plan works in line with the Joint Committee for Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI). NHS wrote a letter to local health leaders that stated,

The NHS will offer vaccination in descending age groups, with priority given to the vaccination of older adults and those in a COVID-19 at-risk group first.
The National Booking Service (NBS) is now being updated to reflect the three-month (91 days) interval from second dose to booster. Our intention is to go live as soon as possible and no later than 13 December

By the end of January, the NHS aims to give booster shots to everyone eligible.

Routine check-ups to be delayed

NHS officials have also stated that GP surgeries will postpone some basic health checks to focus on providing booster vaccines. The letter read,

From 1 December 2021 to 31 March 2022, where contractors consider it clinically appropriate, routine health checks for those over 75 and for new patients may be deferred.

While Christmas is just three weeks away, the spread of the new virus is a concern that is bothering everyone. Evidently, more and more people have been coming up to get booster jabs and receive life-saving protection against Omicron. On Friday, the total went up to 104 Omicron variant cases in England. Consequently, NHS deputy vaccination lead, Dr Nikki Kanani said,

NHS staff are continuing to pull out all the stops to boost the most vulnerable as quickly as we possibly can.
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