Health charities join forces to boost vaccine uptake

Some of the UK’s leading health charities are joining forces with the government and the NHS to encourage vulnerable people to get their coronavirus vaccines.

The coalition brings together 16 charities, including British Heart Foundation, Cancer Research UK and Diabetes UK, who will work to encourage their members to get their first, second and booster doses as soon as they can, as well as their third primary course dose if they’re immunocompromised. The organisations will encourage people to get their flu vaccines, to keep them as safe as possible this winter.

People aged 40 and over, health and social care workers or those aged 16 and over with an underlying health condition that puts them at greater risk of severe coronavirus illness are now eligible for booster vaccinations, provided it’s been six months since their second dose.

The organisations will be using their extensive networks to provide information and reassurance to vulnerable people about the safety and effectiveness of the vaccines, including on their social channels.

The intervention comes as the UK hits its next milestone in the vaccine rollout with just over 16 million boosters and third doses administered in total.

Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid said: “I am hugely grateful to all the charities who are backing our vaccine campaign and supporting some of the most vulnerable in our society. With winter approaching it’s so important that those who are at risk from the virus are protected in order to keep themselves safe. The vaccines are safe and effective and are helping us build a wall of defence against Covid-19. Please come forward for yours as soon as you can.”

A total of 16,004,629 million people in the UK have already received their booster vaccines and third doses, securing crucial protection ahead of the winter. More than 50.8 million first doses (88.4 per cent) and 46.2 million second doses (80.4 per cent) have been given across the UK.

This week, the National Booking Service opened to people aged 40-49 for their booster jab, as well as young people aged 16-17 who aren’t clinically at risk for their second jab.

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