· Record daily figures as 25 million people in the UK have now had their COVID-19 booster vaccine or third dose
· Huge expansion of the booster programme this week, with all adults over 18 able to get their jab at a walk-in centre or book online
Thousands of volunteers have signed up to support booster campaign as part of Herculean effort to get as many jabs in arms as quickly as possible
More than 25 million people in the UK have had a COVID-19 top up jab, as the vaccination programme is turbocharged to get all eligible adults boosted as soon as possible.
All eligible adults aged over 18 are able to get their lifesaving booster jab from a walk-in vaccination centre or book online through the National Booking Service following updates to the programme this week.
A total of 750 armed forces personnel have been drafted in to support deployment of booster vaccines across the UK, tens of thousands of volunteers have stepped up to support the national mission, and extra vaccine centres and pop-up sites have opened to make it as easy as possible for people to get vaccinated.
More than 745,000 booster and third doses have been administered in the UK today – a new record two days in a day – and a total of 25,477,345 million people have had their top-up jabs as the vaccination programme rapidly accelerates.
Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid said:”One thing is absolutely clear – we have no time to waste in the race between virus and the vaccine.
“Booster jabs are absolutely critical for strengthening our defences, and today’s milestone of 25 million top-up jabs is a testament to the enthusiasm of people up and down the country who are rolling up their sleeves to get boosted now.
“I want to say a heartfelt thank you to everyone working on this national mission across all corners of the United Kingdom – from the brilliant NHS and Armed Forces to the tens of thousands of heroic volunteers who have signed up to help with deployment of our booster vaccines.”
This week also saw the temporary suspension of the 15-minute observation period following administration of Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, in a bid to help get jabs in arms more quickly with rising cases of Omicron. The advice from the four UK Chief Medical Officers includes first, second and booster jabs and will be kept under review.
Vaccines Minister Maggie Throup said: “Today’s milestone is an absolutely brilliant achievement.
“I would like to thank our NHS, GPs, cleaners, porters, volunteer vaccinators, armed forces personnel and all of the fantastic frontline heroes who have helped to turbocharge our booster campaign in response to the highly transmissible Omicron variant.
“There is a real sense of public spirit, with everyone playing their part to protect themselves and their loved ones. Please, keep coming forward for your jabs. It is one of the single most important thing you can do this winter.”
NHS England has also launched a recruitment drive for 10,000 new vaccinators, administration staff, healthcare support workers and volunteers to join the national vaccination mission.
Vaccines are the best way to protect people against COVID-19 and data from the UK Health Security Agency shows a booster vaccine tops up protection against symptomatic infection from the Omicron variant to around 70%.
Dr Emily Lawson, director of the NHS covid-19 vaccination programme said: “The NHS has had a record-breaking week for booster jabs with 626,000 jabs delivered yesterday alone in England – this is thanks to the incredible efforts of NHS staff and volunteers who continue to do everything in their power to protect the nation.
“We know that boosters are the best protection against the variant and so it has never been more important to come forward and book your slot for that lifesaving jab.”