NHS urges people to book earlier second vaccine appointment if contacted
People who have been contacted to bring forward their second coronavirus vaccine appointment are being urged to rebook as soon as possible.
The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) recommended in May that the second dose interval should be reduced from 12 weeks to eight for those aged 50 and over, as well as the clinically vulnerable.
The move aims to combat the spread of the Covid-19 variant first detected in India, also known as the Delta variant.
Since then, the NHS has sent texts to more than 1.7 million people inviting them to rebook their appointment.
Dr Emily Lawson, NHS lead for the Covid-19 vaccination programme and who this week received her own second jab, said: “Along with half of the adult population in England, I am now fully vaccinated against coronavirus, and I want to see everyone else follow suit.
“If you are contacted to bring forward your second-dose appointment I would urge you to do this as soon as possible, as getting both doses is what will give everyone the maximum possible protection against Covid.
“The vaccine is our most effective weapon against the virus and there has never been a more important time to get protected so if you’re contacted by the NHS, book your jab or bring forward your second dose.”
Around 98% of people are taking their second dose with 12 weeks, the NHS said.
New data from the health service showed there were 13.5 million first and second doses given out in May, making it the highest month on record.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: “We are fighting this awful virus together – and it is vital everyone has their second dose as soon as they’re eligible to give themselves the fullest possible protection against variants so we can beat Covid-19.”
More than half of people in England are now fully vaccinated, with 23,077,511 people having received both doses.
Some 33,525,485 people – more than three-quarters of the country’s adult population – have received their first dose, the NHS said.