Two-thirds of fully vaccinated over-80s in England have received an extra dose of Covid-19 vaccine, new figures suggest.
A total of 1.9 million people aged 80 and over in England are now estimated to have had either a third dose or a booster – the equivalent of 70% of those currently eligible for an extra jab.
The figures, from NHS England, also show that almost 66% of eligible double-jabbed people aged 75 to 79 are likely to have received an extra dose as of November 2, along with nearly 51% of those aged 70 to 74.
In total, 6.3 million extra doses of vaccine have been delivered to over-50s in England – the equivalent of around three in 10 of all double-jabbed people in this age group, according to analysis by the PA news agency.
Data for the number of boosters and third doses in England is not reported separately, even though they are being delivered to different categories of people at different stages in the vaccine roll-out.
Booster doses are offered to people who are at least six months on from receiving their second dose of coronavirus vaccine.
If eligible, people who can receive a booster dose include all adults aged 50 and over; frontline health and social care workers; and those living in residential care homes for older adults.
Booster doses are also being made available to people aged 16 to 49 with underlying health conditions that put them at higher risk of severe Covid-19, and adult household contacts of immunosuppressed individuals.
By contrast, third doses are being offered to individuals aged 12 and over who may not be able to mount a full immune response following two doses of Covid-19 vaccine, due to underlying health conditions or medical treatment.
A third primary dose of vaccine should ideally be given at least eight weeks after the second dose, according to official guidance from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation.
Dr Nikki Kanani, GP and deputy lead for the NHS Covid-19 vaccination programme, said: “People aged 80 and over are some of our most vulnerable to Covid-19 so it’s fantastic that more than seven in 10 of those who are eligible have already acted to get themselves protected by getting their booster vaccine as we enter what we know will be a challenging winter.
“Getting your booster vaccine is essential and is the best way to protect yourself and your loved ones this winter. The vaccine is safe and effective so please do go online if you’re eligible or call 119 to book in for your lifesaving protection today.”
Unlike in England, data for boosters and third doses is reported separately in Wales.
Around 61% of double-jabbed people aged 80 and over in Wales have received a booster dose, along with more than 57% of 75- to 79-year-olds and 45% of 70- to 74-year-olds, latest figures show.
Scotland and Northern Ireland do not publish take-up of booster doses broken down by age.
Nearly 21% of all double-jabbed people in north-west England have received an extra dose of vaccine – the highest proportion for any region.
London has the lowest proportion of any region, at around 16%.