Over 5.5 million people have had one or more doses of the COVID-19 booster in the region, with others being urged to come forward ahead of the offer ending this weekend.

Sunday 12 February is the last day of the autumn booster campaign and will also be the final day 16 to 49-year-olds, who are not considered at risk, will be able to get a booster following updated Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) advice.

As the countdown continues, appointments are available at around 200 sites across the South East this week, giving those eligible andare yet to come forward, the chance to get boosted. A number of walk-in clinics are also open where no appointment is needed.

So far, over 10,000 people have booked in this week and there are still thousands of appointments up for grabs before the programme scales down.

Caroline Reid, Director of Commissioning and SRO for the Flu and Covid vaccination programme at NHS England South East, said: “People have seven days, including today, to have their booster before the offer ends on Sunday.

“Whether you have had previous doses or a bout of covid, we know that a booster is the best way to maintain protection against serious illness from covid for yourself and your loved ones, so please do make the most of the offer while it is available. Give yourself both protection and peace of mind for the year ahead.”

The NHS Covid vaccination programme will continue to run a smaller operation after 12 February, allowing those yet to come forward for first, second or third doses if severely immunosuppressed, to book appointments.

The JCVI has advised that over the course of 2023 the primary course offer for healthy 16 to 49-year-olds should be withdrawn in favour of a more targeted approach.

The health service is prepared to stand up future campaigns once JCVI advice is confirmed by the Government on who will be eligible for covid vaccines in future phases of the programme.

For your nearest walk-in clinic click Find a walk-in coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination site - NHS (www.nhs.uk), or to book on-line, visit Book or manage a coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination - NHS (www.nhs.uk)