All adults to be offered Covid booster jab by end of January, Boris Johnson confirms

NHS chief has warned vaccination expansion ‘can’t happen overnight’ given other pressures facing healthcare staff

Rebecca Thomas
Health Correspondent
Wednesday 01 December 2021 07:59 GMT
Boris Johnson promises Covid booster vaccines for every adult by end of January

All adults will be able to book their booster jabs by the end of January 2022, prime minister Boris Johnson has said.

Mr Johnson confirmed the vaccination programme will be working down in descending age groups, going down in five year bands.

He revealed four hundred military officers are being drafted in to help with the NHS’ efforts accelerate the national vaccination programme.

He said: “England will have more than 1500 community pharmacy sites, vaccinating people near where you live. All of our sites will increase their capacity and we will stand up extra hospital hubs on top of those already active.

“There’ll be temporary vaccination centres popping up like Christmas trees and we will deploy at least 400 military personnel to assist the efforts of our NHS, alongside volunteers.”

Speaking during a Downing Street press conference today, NHS chief Amanda Pritchard said while changes to the national booking system and legal protocols are put in place, the NHS will continue to vaccinate all those who were already eligible to get their booster jabs.

The national booking service will then be opened up to people in their 40s and those in this age group who’ve had to wait six months for a booster.

According to the NHS chief expanding the Covid-19 booster vaccination programme means an additional 6.9 million over 40s will be eligible for a jab and more than seven million people between the ages of 18 and 39.

Ms Pritchard also confirmed reports from The Independent the NHS will increase payment to GP practices to administer vaccines and revealed the NHS is seeking to recruit to 10,000 paid vaccinator roles. This will be in addition to the tens of thousands of volunteers, the NHS is seeking out.

Military personnel will be used for a range of tasks from administering jabs, travel and assisting with logistics, she confirmed.

The NHS chief added: “These are the steps that I will be setting out to the NHS but it can’t happen overnight, particularly given the other pressures facing NHS staff, who are working extremely hard.

“They’re working hard to address the backlogs that have inevitably built up in less urgent care, while hospitals cared for more than half a million people with Covid-19 as inpatients and of course, many, many more in the community.

“They’re working extremely hard to deal with a rebound in demand for urgent emergency care, and of course they are working extremely hard to care today for those thousands of patients in hospital, and in the community with Covid-19.”

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