Thousands of extra appointments and a string of drop-in clinics are being made available on a 'Big Weekend' for Covid-19 vaccinations in Northamptonshire.
Extending the rollout to include boosters for over-40s and second doses for 16 and 17-year-olds upped the ante in the race to get as many people jabbed as possible amid warnings of a likely rise in hospitalisations at the same time as the winter flu season strikes.
Bookable clinics in Daventry, Kettering and Wellingborough are being added alongside the more regular drop-in sites in Northampton, Corby and South Northamptonshire.
Anna Dorothy, deputy director of the Northamptonshire vaccination programme, said: "We know that vaccinations save lives and we must all play our part and take action to protect each other from Covid-19.
"The risk of death involving Covid-19 is consistently lower for people who have received two vaccinations compared to one or none.
“When you get your jab you are not only protecting yourself, you are protecting those around you and the wider community.
“And to anyone eligible who has not yet taken up the offer of a vaccination: It’s not too late, your vaccine offer is evergreen.
“Nobody wants Covid-19 at Christmas and having your vaccination now will give you the immunity you need before the festive break to protect you and those around you.”
“We are really pleased with the fantastic progress so far in Northamptonshire and it feels incredible to be able to offer so many extra opportunities this weekend to protect our local communities.
"Thanks to all our volunteers and staff who work so hard to make this happen and ensure everyone is safe."
■ Click HERE to book appointments or call 119.
■ Click HERE for all the latest information on drop-in timings, eligibility and booking details with more clinics and appointments being added daily.
Nearly 1.1million first and second jabs have so far been delivered across the county with nearly 79 percent of all those aged 12 and over having had at least one dose.
Yet the number of people testing positive in the county is rising again with around 3,600 new cases reported in the last seven days compared to around 3,200 a week earlier.
Latest figures showed Northamptonshire's two main NHS hospitals were treating with 95 Covid-positive patients by last week and that number is expected to rise as more test positive.
NHS England has confirmed 32 patients sadly died while being treated for the virus at Northampton General and Kettering General hospitals this month, plus three more deaths with Covid reported at North Northamptonshire care homes by regulators the Care Quality Commission.
Scientists have raised concerns about protection offered by Covid vaccines against severe symptoms of the virus waning from around five months after a second dose.
All those over 40 are eligible for a booster if their second dose was at least six months ago. Those aged 16 and 17 can now able to get a second jab at least 12 weeks after their first.