Health officials in Lancashire and South Cumbria are reminding residents to get their COVID-19 vaccine over the Easter period as the biggest and fastest vaccination drive in NHS history reaches another milestone.
In Lancashire and South Cumbria, over one in three who are eligible – more than 72,000 people - have already received their Spring COVID-19 booster less than three weeks since the programme started.
With COVID-19 infections remaining high, including in older groups and in every part of the country in recent weeks, those most vulnerable are urged to come forward as soon as they’re invited.
Vaccination appointments are available throughout the Easter weekend at a number of sites including community pharmacies, vaccination centres and GP-led clinics. These can be booked via the NHS National Booking Service, where you can also find walk-in availability in your area.
Jane Scattergood, senior responsible officer for the COVID-19 vaccination programme in Lancashire and South Cumbria, said: “The take up of Spring COVID-19 boosters in our region has been incredible since the rollout started just under three weeks ago.
“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.
“It’s easier than ever to get an appointment, which can be booked quickly and conveniently on the National Booking Service, by calling 119 or at a walk-in centre.”
And residents are also urged to stay vigilant and take measures to slow the spread of the virus during Easter, which is typically a busy time for health and care services.
Dr Sakthi Karunanithi, director of public health for Lancashire County Council, said: "We know that infection rates remain high across England, meaning there is still a real risk to many of us catching COVID-19.
"While restrictions have ended, I would urge people to still take simple precautions such as regular hand washing, wearing a face mask in crowded places, letting in fresh air, trying to stay at home if you are poorly to help protect others who might be vulnerable and avoiding contact with other people if you have symptoms.
"This will help to slow the spread of the virus and mitigate the impact on the NHS, which is still under great pressure.”
The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation has advised a Spring jab should be offered to those most vulnerable to COVID-19 as a precautionary measure around six months on from their previous dose.
Nationally, around two million invites have been sent so far to those who are eligible which includes people aged 75 and over, adult care home residents and those who are immunosuppressed aged 12 and over. In Lancashire and South Cumbria, almost 147,000 people are eligible for a spring booster.