Nearly one person every minute receiving their spring booster

The equivalent of 56 spring boosters were delivered to south west Londoners every hour during the first two weeks of the latest phase of the Covid-19 vaccination programme.

The local NHS delivered 18,920 second boosters to eligible people* after 95-year-old grandad Devraj Jhalam from Slough became one of the first people nationally to receive their latest dose in the new phase on 21 March.

Winnie received her second booster at the St Nicholas Shopping Centre vaccination site and said: “The staff here are absolutely wonderful and helpful. It’s absolutely brilliant, how it’s all organised. I think we’re all very fortunate.”

To watch Winnie, or embed the video, go to https://youtu.be/F-6l9qiUz2U.

Almost 3.1 million coronavirus vaccinations, including around 800,000 boosters, have been given in south west London since the NHS made history when George Dyer from Croydon became one of the first people to receive a jab in December 2020.

However, with infection rates high in recent weeks, including in older groups, Dr Nicola Jones, GP lead for the south west London vaccination programme, is urging the most vulnerable patients to book in for their spring booster without delay when invited.

Dr Jones said: “We’ve made a fantastic start with our spring booster programme – delivering the equivalent of 56 jabs every single hour of every day in the first two weeks since starting on 21 March is impressive.

“It’s testament to the continued amazing efforts of NHS staff and volunteers and they’ll no doubt continue to pull out all the stops to ensure the most vulnerable stay protected.”

Dr Jones is also reminding people that it is never too late to get vaccinated, whether they need a first, second or booster dose. She said: “If you haven’t come forward, for whatever reason, please remember it’s never too late to get vaccinated. Vaccination gives higher protection against the serious complications of Covid-19 so please visit one of our many local clinics – they’re ready and waiting.”

Local clinics can be found here. Appointments can also be organised quickly and conveniently on the NHS website and people that can’t go online can book by phoning 119.

Recent research from the UK Health Security Agency showed that the NHS booster programme has helped prevent around 197,000 hospitalisations since mid-December.

* The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation has advised a spring jab should be offered to those most vulnerable to Covid-19 as a precautionary measure around six months on from their previous dose. Please book without delay after being invited.

The NHS has made it easier than ever for immunosuppressed people to get their boosters – by providing either a letter from a GP team or specialist inviting them for a vaccine, a hospital or GP letter about their medication or treatment, or a prescription or medication box with their name and date on it. Immunosuppressed people can also self-declare on the national booking service.

The following vaccinations can be booked:

  • 1st and 2nd doses for people aged 5 years old and over
  • boosters for people aged 16 years old and over, plus at-risk children aged 12 to 15 years old
  • spring boosters for people aged 75 years old and over, plus people aged 12 years old and over with a weakened immune system. You will be contacted by the NHS and invited to book your spring booster when it’s due.
  • additional primary doses for people with a severely weakened immune system aged 12 years old and over. You will be contacted by the NHS and invited to book your spring booster when it’s due.