The covid-19 vaccination centre inside the Centrale shopping centre in Croydon has begun the roll-out of autumn booster jabs, for now being offered to those over 65 years old.
The severely immunosuppressed and frontline health and care workers, carers and pregnant women are also among those currently eligible for the top-up dose, which tackles the new variant of the virus.
More than 6.5million people have already received a vital autumn boost.
Among them are local residents Alexander Nolan, 79, and Brian Wolsoncroft, 77.
“I came to get the booster vaccine so that it will hopefully give me extra protection during this winter and all those around me,” Nolan said.
He added that he would encourage others to “not turn this opportunity down because it will give you more protection as well as your family”.
Wolsoncroft said that he found the process quick and easy.
“I got my booster to protect myself this winter from the different variants going around. I get my flu jab every year, so it was important that I got my autumn booster too.”
Marilyn Aitken went along “because we want to be protected from covid during the autumn.”
Angeline Jarratt, 60, who is a carer, and 71-year-old Jeremy Jarratt got their autumn boosters together.
They are considering going travelling this winter and “want to keep themselves and others safe”. They get their flu jabs every winter and “getting the autumn booster is another way of staying safe”.
Steve Russell, the NHS director of vaccinations and screening, said: “More than 6.5million people have received a vital autumn boost since the campaign launched a month ago and demand continues to surge with more than a quarter of a million people getting their jab on average each day last week – peaking at over 450,000 on Saturday.
“The NHS has made the updated covid vaccine as convenient as possible to get, jabbing people 65 and over and those most at risk from serious illness at more than 3,000 sites around the country.
“We will begin inviting people who are 50 and over for their life-saving top-up dose shortly.”
As with previous campaigns, the oldest and most vulnerable are being called forward first, with people able to book online (just click here) or by calling 119, as long as it has been three months since their last dose.
Those with weakened immune systems are already able to self-declare and attend walk-ins to make getting the extra protection as easy as possible.
In south-west London, more than 3.3million covid-19 vaccinations have been delivered since the first jab was given at Croydon University Hospital in December 2020, believed to be the first delivered in the capital.
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