Half of over-75s in England receive Covid vaccine ‘spring booster’

Half of all people aged 75 and over in England have had their “spring booster” of Covid-19 vaccine, new figures show.

Some 51.4% of over-75s had received the jab as of May 1, up from 42.9% a week earlier.

Among people aged 80 and over the proportion is slightly higher at 52.8%, according to the UK Health Security Agency.

© Provided by PA Media (PA Graphics)

The spring booster campaign began in England on March 21.

Anyone aged 75 and over who is around six months on from their previous booster is being invited to get an additional dose of vaccine.

Residents of older adult care homes and people aged 12 and over who are immunosuppressed are also eligible to receive the jab.

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Responding to the figures, Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid said: “This is excellent progress – more than 2.8 million of those most vulnerable to Covid-19 in England have received a vital top-up to their immunity.

“The wall of defence provided by vaccines is allowing us to live with this virus and get back to doing the things we’ve missed. Please come forward as soon as you’re eligible to protect yourself.”

Steve Russell, NHS England national director for vaccinations, said: “In just over six weeks since the NHS Covid vaccination programme began rolling out spring jabs, hard-working teams up and down the country have pulled out all the stops to ensure more than half of those entitled to a spring booster are now protected.

“The NHS will continue to invite people when they are due for a vaccination, including an additional 230,000 this week alone, and so it is vital you come and get your top-up when we contact you.”

The campaign was launched following guidance from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation that those most vulnerable to coronavirus should receive another booster.

Immunity from vaccination declines over time and many older adults received their most recent dose in September or October 2021.

The NHS estimates around five million people in England will be eligible for a spring booster during the campaign.

People aged 70 and over in England experienced record levels of infection during the most recent wave of the virus, with an estimated 7.2% – one in 14 – likely to have had Covid-19 in early April, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Prevalence of coronavirus among all age groups has fallen in recent weeks but infections remain high by historic standards, the ONS said.