Devon is on target to be ‘pretty close’ to the booster target set by Prime Minister Boris Johnson for the end of December.
As volunteers and NHS staff are busy with the roll-out at the Newton Abbot Racecourse the NHS in Devon has revealed
The number of people receiving their booster in the county this week is set to be double last week’s figure, according to Dr Paul Johnson, clinical chair of the NHS Devon Clinical Commissioning Group.
He told a monthly Team Devon meeting of local authority leaders that before this week, boosters had been given to around half of Devon’s eligible population of just over 800,000, at a rate of around 55,000 a week.
The numbers have gone up significantly after the urgent message to “get boosted now” was issued by the prime minister in a TV address on Sunday.
Dr Johnson said: ‘So far in three days, we’ve delivered 43,000 vaccines, so we are almost at what we would deliver in a week.’
‘We are on target to have doubled, so that means people are coming forward, which is really, really encouraging, so our public is hearing the message and going out and getting their booster.
‘And also, the extra resources that we are putting in looks like we’re on target to be pretty close to the end of December ambition that the prime minister has set us.’
Boris Johnson said last weekend: ‘Everyone eligible aged 18 and over in England will have the chance to get their booster before the New Year.’
To help achieve the target and increase capacity, Dr Johnson – not to be confused with the prime minister – said large vaccination centres are open seven days a week and extending their opening hours, while they are hoping to pilot a drive-through booster service at the Greendale venue in Exeter.
The meeting also heard that the NHS was ‘inundated’ with so many people offering to volunteer to help with the booster rollout, with Dr Johnson adding: ‘We may even struggle to utilise them all, which is a really good position to be in.’
Locations offering boosters include the Riviera International Centre in Torquay, Home Park football stadium in Plymouth, Exeter’s Greendale on the Sidmouth Road, Newton Abbot Racecourse and Barnstaple Leisure Centre.Appointments at one of the NHS sites remains the best way to get your vaccine and can be booked via the National Booking System at https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-vaccination/book-coronavirus-vaccination/Details of walk-in clinics are being regularly shared on NHS Devon CCG’s social media pages. You can find your nearest walk-in clinic on NHS England’s site finder at https://www.nhs.uk/service-search/find-a-walk-in-coronavirus-covid-19-vaccination-site