NHS Begins Rollout of Spring Coronavirus Boosters

The NHS in England has begun administering a second booster vaccine to vulnerable people, with hundreds of thousands of vulnerable people expected to receive invitations in the coming days as the vaccination programme enters a new phase.

Currently, people over the age of 75 and those who are immunosuppressed aged 12 and over are eligible for the Spring booster.

The booster will be offered to approximately five million people with 600,000 expected to receive invitations from the NHS COVID-19 vaccination programme during this week.

Once invited by the NHS, people will be able to book their appointment through the National Booking System either online or by calling NHS 119.

Cases Rising

COVID cases have witnessed a rise once again. The latest figures show that 226,524 cases recorded on Monday with 169 deaths, however, these figures include figures for Saturday and Sunday which are no longer reported separately. In addition, the number of patients in hospital with COVID has also seen a gradual rise with latest figures showing that 14,948 people are currently in hospital with the virus.

Amanda Pritchard, chief executive of the NHS, said: “The NHS COVID-19 vaccination programme has not stopped in its efforts to protect people from coronavirus – around five million of the most vulnerable people will be eligible for a Spring dose and from tomorrow, we will start giving eligible groups their additional top up in protection.

“We have protected millions of people at speed thanks to the efforts of our staff, aided by volunteers. They will once again rise to the next challenge.

“There is no need to contact the NHS – when you are eligible for your ‘spring boost’ of protection, we will be in touch so you can book your appointment at one of hundreds of vaccination sites across the country”.

Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid said: “Our phenomenal vaccination programme has saved countless lives and built a wall of defence which has allowed us to learn to live with COVID.

“Following the massive success of the rollout so far, we are now offering over-75s and the most vulnerable a spring booster dose to top up their protection against this virus.

“Please come forward as soon as you are contacted by the NHS”.

Stomach Bugs

Recently, it has been revealed that previous efforts made to curb the rise of the virus, such as lockdowns, have had a significant impact on stomach bugs, after research revealed that outbreaks were cut by more than half in England through the first lockdown.

The article released by the BMJ Open stated that there was a 52 per cent decrease in gastrointestinal outbreaks disclosed to health agencies amid the first six months of lockdown, compared with the five-year average for the same period.

Outbreaks that were registered dropped from 3,208 to 1,544. In addition, laboratory-confirmed cases fell by 34 per cent to 27,859.

Talking to the BBC, Prof Martin Marshall from the Royal College of GPs, said: “This study makes clear that as we’ve seen with other contagious diseases, such as colds and flu, prevalence of gastrointestinal infection was lower during the pandemic.

“This is likely to be in a large part due to restrictions that were implemented to stop the spread of Covid, and greater adherence to public health measures.

“As we move to the next stages of the pandemic, severe restrictions have been, and continue to be, lifted to allow a more normal way of life, but practising good hygiene measures is something that can and should continue, and really can help people keep well.”

SEE ALSO: NHS Mental Health Referrals Hit Record High in 2021

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