Two weeks remain, and the Medical Director of the NHS North East and Yorkshire is urging individuals most susceptible to severe illness or hospitalisation from Covid to receive their vaccination before the winter season.

In the region, nearly two-thirds of those with compromised immune systems have already received a booster. However, there are still over 100,000 individuals at risk of severe illness who have not yet availed themselves of this crucial additional dose.

The online booking system, NHS App, and 119 phone service for flu and Covid vaccine appointments will cease operations from Friday, 15th December, making the 14th of December the final day for booking.

Recent figures reveal that over 1.8 million people in the North East and Yorkshire have received their Covid jab for the winter. Despite this, the NHS is eager for those at the highest risk, with weakened immune systems, to take advantage of the vaccination offer.

Regional Medical Director and Clinical Lead for the Covid-19 Vaccination Programme, Dr Yvette Oade, said: “As we get closer to the festive period when lots of people will be coming together with family and friends, getting vaccinated is the best way to keep you, and those around you, safe.

“Although we have seen encouraging uptake of the seasonal Covid vaccine, there are still over 100,000 people across the North East and Yorkshire region at a higher risk of falling seriously ill to Covid. With thousands of appointments still available online, or by calling 119, we urge people to come forward as soon as they can.”

In accordance with guidance from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation, those eligible for the seasonal Covid vaccine include residents in care homes for older adults, adults aged 65 and over, individuals aged 6 months to 64 years in a clinical risk group as outlined in the Immunisation Green Book, frontline health and social care workers, individuals aged 16 to 64 years who are carers, and staff working in care homes for older adults.

If you are eligible, book your flu and seasonal Covid-19 vaccination online at www.nhs.uk/wintervaccinations or via the NHS App by the 14th of December 2023. Online vaccination bookings will not be possible after this date.

After the 14th of December, some appointments may still be available through local NHS vaccination services, such as pharmacies or walk-in sites. Information on walk-in sites can be found at Find a walk-in COVID-19 vaccination site – NHS (www.nhs.uk).

For those experiencing cold and flu symptoms on the day of their vaccinations, it is advisable to reschedule the appointment for when they are in good health.