Hampshire and Isle of Wight residents have been urged to book seasonal Covid-19 and flu vaccinations, ahead of appointments closing next week. 

The vaccinations are available until the 14th of December to people who are aged over 65, pregnant, a front line health or central care worker, among other categories. 

The NHS has administered 485,000 Covid-19 vaccinations across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight this season, with 38,000 appointments still available to book through the NHS App or 119 phone service.

READ MORE: NHS urges people to book ‘lifesaving’ Covid and flu vaccines before Christmas

Dr Matt Nisbet, who leads Hampshire’s Covid-19 vaccination programme, said: “It’s great news that thousands of people have now been vaccinated against COVID-19 and flu across our area. 

“Getting vaccinated is the best way for people to ensure they and their families are protected against flu and Covid-19 this Christmas when the viruses spread more easily as people spend more time indoors.”

Dr Nisbet continued: “It is crucial to get this protection, even if you have had a vaccine or been ill with flu or Covid before, as immunity fades over time and the viruses change each year.” 

The country’s deputy chief medical officer warned in October that Covid “will continue to suprise us,” and urged vulnerable people to book seasonal vaccines. 

Dr Thomas Waite said that the virus is especially unpredictable: “I think it's hard to say at this point exactly what Covid is going to do [...] but I don't doubt that Covid in particular will continue to surprise us."

Though the national vaccination system closes for bookings on the 14th of December, appointments will be available through local services until the 31st of January for Covid-19, and the end of March for flu.