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People urged to get Covid jab before offer ends

The Department of Health and Social Care would like to highlight that the offer of a first and second dose of COVID vaccine for those at lower risk of severe illness will end on 30th June 2023.

There are eight weeks left for people who are completely unvaccinated to get their first and second doses. Around 40 million adults across England have already come forward for both doses

People who have not yet come forward for their first and/ or second dose of the COVID vaccine are being encouraged to get their jabs before the offer ends on Friday 30th June.

The NHS’s world-leading vaccination programme has so far delivered over 146 million COVID jabs, helping to save tens of thousands of lives, protect the most vulnerable from serious illness and allowed us to resume our normal lives without restrictions.

For people aged 18 and over, there is an 8-week interval requirement between receiving a first and second dose of COVID vaccine. Appointments can be booked easily online, by calling 119, or people can visit one of the hundreds of walk-in vaccination sites open across the country.

Building on the success of autumn and spring booster programmes, a seasonal, targeted vaccination offer will remain open for those most at risk, in line with advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI). This will help to focus efforts and ensure the most efficient use of NHS resources as they work to cut the backlogs and reduce waiting times.

Health Minister Maria Caulfield said:

“As we live with COVID without restrictions on our freedoms, it is right that we move towards a more targeted vaccination offer that prioritises those most at risk, so we can focus our efforts on cutting waiting lists for NHS treatment – one of the Prime Minister’s top five priorities.

“As the offer for any adult to get a COVID vaccine comes to an end on 30 June, I would urge those who have not yet come forward to choose to have the first and second COVID vaccine. It takes minutes to get your jab and thousands of sites are open across England.

“Vaccines are our best line of defence against the virus. I’ve stayed up to date with mine – it’s quick and easy so I would urge you to do the same before the offer closes.”

This year’s spring booster programme continues to gather pace, with over two million eligible people receiving their vital top-up dose.  Roving NHS vaccination teams have been visiting care homes across the country since 3rd April, with eligible people living in the community accessing the jab since 17th April. The spring campaign will end on 30th June – the same day the offer of a first or second jab ends.

The JCVI advised the risk of serious illness with COVID continues to be disproportionately greater in those from older age groups, residents in care homes for older adults, and persons with certain underlying health conditions.

NHS Director of Vaccinations and Screening Steve Russell said:

“The fastest and largest vaccination programme in NHS history has delivered more than 146 million COVID jabs since it began, including more than 45 million first doses, but now it is right as we learn to live with COVID, that we move to targeted seasonal campaigns to protect the most vulnerable.

“With the existing offer of a first and second dose for everyone set to end alongside the current spring campaign, everyone aged 18 and over who is unvaccinated must come forward for their primary course by the end of June to receive protection.

“The vaccines are safe, effective, and the best way to boost your protection from serious illness caused by COVID– so please do come forward for your dose of protection.”

Dr Mary Ramsay, Head of Immunisation at the UK Health Security Agency, said:

“The COVID vaccines have enabled us to live with the virus thanks to the protection they have given the millions of people who have come forward to date.

“Getting the vaccine remains the best way to avoid severe illness and it can increase your protection even if you have previously had the virus. It only takes a few minutes and I encourage anyone who has not yet done so to come forward before the offer ends.”