The driver to jab the nation won’t let up this Christmas as Omicron continues its surge (Picture: REX/PA/Reuters)
NHS vaccine clinics will stay open on Christmas Day to maintain the pace of the booster rollout.
The government is aiming to get one million people a day jabbed in a bid to protect the country against the Omicron wave.
There are around 200,000 appointments still available over the festive period around the country.
NHS bosses have confirmed scores of vaccine sites will stay open on December 24, 25 and 26, a move dubbed the ‘jingle jab’ campaign.
Health bosses advised booking in advance but said there will be options available for people without appointments across the country, including in Eastbourne, Hartlepool, Croydon and Dewsbury.
The announcement comes hours after the UK confirmed its highest ever number of Covid-19 infections in a single day.
Government data revealed just shy of 120,000 people tested positive for coronavirus on Thursday.
Hundreds of thousands are coming forward every day to get a booster jab (Picture: PA)
Dr Emily Lawson, head of the NHS Covid vaccination programme, said: ‘We’ve seen record after record broken in the run-up to the festive season and I want to thank every NHS staff member and volunteer whose goodwill and determination to protect their communities will keep the booster rollout going this Christmas weekend.
‘This Christmas, before sitting down to your dinner with your family, I would encourage anyone not already boosted to come forward, book an appointment and get the gift of a jab.’
The push over the festive period comes after a bumper weekend of 1.5 million doses and a record-breaking week for booster jabs.
On Wednesday, 1.06 million vaccines were administered, the highest number ever – 968,665 of which were top-up doses.
Health Secretary Sajid Javid paid tribute to NHS staff and volunteers giving up their time with family and friends to help the booster rollout over Christmas.
He said: ‘Thank-you for everything that you’ve done and everything that you’re doing – this Christmas and all year round.
More than half of eligible adults have now had a third dose of the vaccine (Picture: Metro Graphics)
‘You continue to be the very best of us – you achieve phenomenal things and I’m proud to call you colleagues.’
NHS England chief Amanda Pritchard praised the ‘extraordinary team effort’ of health service staff in the face of Omicron.
She said: ‘I know it is a worrying time professionally and personally for everyone, and that many colleagues are drained after such a gruelling period.’
‘The NHS is nothing without its incredible staff. This time, thanks to NHS staff and volunteers, we are armed with the protection offered by first, second and booster doses.’
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