IN December more than four million people in England tested positive for Covid as the Omicron variant swept the nation.
The NHS has now issued an urgent warning to everyone who had Covid last month to come forward for their booster vaccines.
Experts have urged people to come forward for their booster vaccines after many people caught Covid in December[/caption]
Most people who catch the Omicron virus are presenting with cold-like symptoms and for most people it is milder than the variants that came before it.
Covid booster jabs protect against Omicron and offer the best chance to get through the pandemic, health officials have repeatedly said.
New NHS data shows there are 6.3 million people who are overdue their booster by six weeks or more.
People who tested positive in December would have had to wait 28 days to get their booster or other vaccine, as per the guidelines from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) guidance.
More than five million Brits have been sent reminders to book in for their boosters.
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Over 52.2 million Brits have received a first dose of the Covid jab, 48.2 million have received a second and 37.1 million have had their booster jabs.
After the NHS opened the booster dose to everyone on December 15, ten million Brits came forward to get jabbed.
Data from the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) states that if you have your booster, you’re 85 per cent less likely to end up in hospital than if you are unvaccinated.
As the last of coronavirus restrictions have now been lifted, England’s top doctor said it’s imperative that people come forward and get protected with vaccines.
NHS National Medical Director, Professor Stephen Powis, said: “Everyone would like to see the back of Covid and as things begin to return to normal it is important we don’t lose sight of what will protect you from the virus.
“If you were one of the millions of people who tested positive in December and were unable to get your booster, it is time to come forward for that vital vaccination 28 days on from catching Covid.”
He said that more than six million people are now overdue their booster vaccine by at least six weeks.
“While some had to delay because of a coronavirus infection it is still absolutely crucial that people get their booster in order to increase their protection to reinfection and the dangers of long Covid.
“The evidence is clear, vaccination provides the best protection for you and your loved ones against coronavirus, so I urge anyone yet to come forward for their booster – or their first or second dose – to check where their nearest site is online and get protected now”, he added.
BOOK YOUR BOOSTER
Pharmacies, GP practices and large community sites are offering slots. But people eligible can also turn up to a walk-in centre.
You can book online by going to the dedicated NHS booking site to find a location and time slot that works for you.
When you book your jab, you’ll only need to select a time and day for one slot – unlike booking the first and second dose when you were asked to book them both at once.
If you have recently had coronavirus then you should wait four weeks before booking your appointment.
To book your appointment you need to click the green “book now” button.
You’ll then be asked if you know your NHS number or not.
If you have your NHS number it will make it a little bit faster to book, if not you then have to fill out all of your personal details.
People can also book by calling 119.
Text invites will come from NHSvaccine and will include a link to the NHS website, enabling anyone eligible to book an appointment at a convenient site nearby.