More than 100,000 COVID-19 vaccine spring boosters have now been delivered across Lancashire and South Cumbria

The biggest and fastest vaccination programme in NHS history moved on to its next phase by beginning the delivery of the spring booster last month.

Those who are eligible for spring boosters include care home residents, people who are aged 75 and over and those who are immunosuppressed aged 12 and over.

In line with advice set out by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), the NHS COVID-19 vaccination programme has been inviting thousands of eligible people in the region to come forward for their fourth dose, around six months after they had their booster jab.

Carole McCann, senior nurse for the COVID-19 vaccination programme in Lancashire and South Cumbria, said: “It is great to see that so many people have come forward for their spring booster and I would like to thank everyone who has taken up the offer of a COVID-19 vaccine.

“Despite the take up being incredible in our region, there are still almost 80,000 people who are eligible in Lancashire and South Cumbria who have not yet come forward for their spring booster.

“It remains so important that those who are most vulnerable take up their vaccination offer once they become eligible to have the best protection against the virus. It is also never too late to come forward for your first, second or booster dose.”

Research by UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) estimates since mid-December some 157,000 hospitalisations have been prevented by booster doses. 

Dr Sakthi Karunanithi, director of public health, Lancashire County Council, said: "Vaccines remain our best defence against COVID-19 and are preventing a high number of cases resulting in severe disease, hospitalisation and death.

"Thank you to everyone who has come forward for their spring boosters and for those who have come for their first, second or booster jab. Thank you also to the NHS staff and volunteers who continue to work tirelessly to protect the public.

"As well as staying up to date with your vaccinations, I would urge people to continue to take simple precautions such as wearing a face mask in crowded places, regular hand washing, meeting outdoors where possible and letting fresh air in indoors.

"If you have symptoms of COVID-19, and you have a high temperature or do not feel well enough to go to work or carry out normal activities, try to stay at home and avoid contact with other people, until you no longer have a high temperature or until you no longer feel unwell."

If you have not yet had your spring booster and you are eligible, you can book your appointment in several ways including through the national booking service, by calling 119 or attending a walk-in vaccination site.

Anyone who is unable to use any of these usual options will be able to use the vaccine at home service by calling 0300 790 6856 between 10am and 8pm daily.