'Three out of five' receive autumn Covid-19 booster
Three in five people over the age of 50 in South Tyneside have received the autumn Covid-19 booster, according to new figures.
Thursday, December 8 marked two years since Margaret Keenan became the first person in the world to receive the Pfizer jab - kickstarting a word-wide rollout of the historic vaccine.
Since then, about 109,700 people in South Tyneside have been fully vaccinated – getting both the first and second injection – figures from the UK coronavirus dashboard show – meaning at least 78.9% of people in the area have had two jabs.
A further 88,100 have also received a booster or third dose - with uptake for the third jab standing at 63.3% at the end of November.
Uptake among people aged 50 and over, shows 40,700 South Tyneside residents had received the autumn booster, meaning that at least 61.6% of those in the age group have had the additional dose – on a par with England's overall rate of 61.9%.
Nationally, 42 million people are fully vaccinated (75.2%) while 33.4 million have received a booster or third dose (59.8%).
Steve Russell, NHS director of vaccinations and screening, said that Covid-19, flu and other respiratory viruses are "still very much with us", and urged eligible people to get their autumn booster to "ensure maximum protection" throughout the festive period.
He added: “It has been two years since the NHS in England delivered the world’s first Covid jab and, thanks to our staff and volunteers, more than 143 million doses have been administered across the country providing life-saving protection and allowing us to get back to a pre-pandemic way of life."
Health Minister Maria Caulfield said the roll out of the vaccine over the past two years has been a "phenomonal feat" and saved lives.
She added: "The power of the Covid vaccine is undeniable. Countless lives have been saved thanks to the incredible work of researchers, scientists, doctors, nurses and volunteers but we can’t be complacent".
"It is crucial that all those eligible, book their appointments to receive the vaccine as soon as possible to keep immunity levels high."