London Covid booster programme to launch on Monday as 800,000 people urged to get jab

London's Covid booster programme will launch from Monday, the NHS has confirmed (PA Wire)
London's Covid booster programme will launch from Monday, the NHS has confirmed (PA Wire)

London's Covid booster programme will launch from Monday, the NHS has confirmed, with over 800,000 eligible Londoners urged to get vaccinated.

People aged over 75, with a weakened immune system or those living in a care home will be able to get a Spring booster jab until June 30.

The NHS is sending texts, emails, NHS App messages or letters to those who are eligible, but they do not have to wait for the invite to book.

More than 600 sites across London are currently offering vaccination, including community pharmacies, GPs, hospitals and vaccination centres.

Covid cases remain low with just 1,196 reported in the week up to April 10 - a sharp drop from the most recent peak in January.

Regional figures for infections and vaccination are no longer published on the UK Health Security Agency website, but London has previously lagged behind the rest of the country on Covid vaccination levels.

Dr Oge Ilozue a GP at Brunswick Park Medical Practice and a clinical advisor on vaccinations to NHS London said: “With people starting to finally feel the spring and see some sunshine, it’d be easy to forget that, despite the winter being behind us, many London residents remain vulnerable to Covid.

"For older people and those with a weakened immune system Covid can still be very dangerous. And over-time and due to exposure, immunity to Covid can fade, so getting a regular top up vaccine is essential to ensure continued safety.”

Anyone eligible can book a vaccine appointment via the NHS website or by calling 119.

Parents or carers can book a Covid vaccination for children under 16 on their behalf, while eligible people aged 16 and over can also use the NHS App to book an appointment.

The latest data from the UKHSA on last year’s spring Covid vaccination programme showed that those who received a vaccine were around 50 per cent less likely to be admitted to hospital with Covid for three to four months after vaccination, compared to those who did not receive one.

Riyadul Karim, assistant director of community engagement and vaccine equity at NHS England, London Region, said: “It’s vital that eligible people from all of London’s communities get the protection they need this Spring. These vaccines do not contain any animal products.

“I’d urge those aged 75 or over or with weakened immune systems to book their boosters now. This can be done quickly and easily through the at a local walk-in service, by using the NHS App, booking online or calling 119 free of charge and speaking to a translator.

"Don't forget to remind family members too so they avoid becoming seriously ill this Spring.”