More than two million vaccines given as leaders plea for those still to come forward not to hold off

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More than two million Covid-19 vaccinations have been given out at sites across Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire.

The milestone was reached shortly after the region welcomed in the new year, with the current number of total vaccinations now standing at around 2,059,000.

In recent weeks, vaccine sites across the region have pulled out all the stops to ensure that all adults have been able to receive a booster vaccination, which experts say provides the best protection against the new, highly transmissible Omicron variant of Covid-19.

Between Wednesday 22 December and Wednesday 5 January, almost 100,000 people across the region came forward for a booster vaccine as part of the national drive to top up the country’s immunity to coronavirus.

Local health leaders are now issuing an urgent appeal for any people who have yet to get boosted, as well as those who have so far put off having a first or second dose, to come forward.

Gill May, Director of Nursing and Quality, said: “The response we had from local people over the festive period following the call to get boosted was absolutely incredible.

“To give out almost 100,000 vaccines in the space of two weeks, as well as see our overall total top the two million mark, has been phenomenal, and I’d like to pay tribute to all those staff who worked so tirelessly over Christmas and New Year to make it happen.

“We now want to start this new year in much the same way as we ended 2021, by making sure as many people as possible throughout our communities are protected against Covid-19.

“Having the vaccine remains our best defence against a virus that is still putting friends and loved-ones in hospital and, with our local NHS currently under significant pressure, it’s never been more essential for those who are eligible to come forward.”

At the end of last year, figures revealed that around 100,000 people across the region were still unvaccinated.

In the seven days leading up to New Year’s Eve, 6,052 people in Wiltshire tested positive for Covid-19, along with 3,939 in Swindon and a further 2,597 in Bath and North East Somerset.

Receiving the coronavirus vaccine, as well as the necessary second dose and booster jab, not only offers personal protection, but goes some way to protecting others by reducing person-to-person transmission.

Vaccination sites across the region, including the larger venues at Bath Racecourse, the Steam Museum in Swindon and Salisbury City Hall, currently have good appointment availability.

People can book their appointments quickly and easily via the National Booking Service, which is available online at www.nhs.uk or over the phone by calling 119.

For more information about the local rollout of the coronavirus vaccine, including an extensive list of frequently asked questions, visit www.bswccg.nhs.uk.