If you’re yet to get a Covid booster vaccine, you can get yours during the Christmas period, NHS England has announced as it tries to increase protection against the Omicron variant.

The vaccine will continue to be rolled out on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day.

People who have not had their Covid booster yet can get it in the coming days with around 200,000 appointments for a third dose still available across the country during the festive period, Press Association reports.

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NHS staff and volunteers will be giving doses to people at local vaccination sites such as town halls and local pharmacies as part of the NHS’ “jingle jab” campaign, the health service said.

While NHS England has advised that people book in advance, it has said there will be options for those without appointments to receive their jab across the country including in Eastbourne, Hartlepool, Croydon and Dewsbury, Press Association reports.

A first or second dose of the vaccine can help protect people but experts warn that only a booster vaccine gives the greatest amount of protection against the Omicron variant.

Dr Emily Lawson, head of the NHS Covid vaccination programme, said: “We’ve seen record after record broken in the run-up to the festive season and I want to thank every NHS staff member and volunteer whose goodwill and determination to protect their communities will keep the booster rollout going this Christmas weekend.

“This Christmas, before sitting down to your dinner with your family, I would encourage anyone not already boosted to come forward, book an appointment and get the gift of a jab.”

The urge to get the booster vaccine during the Christmas period comes after the weekend saw 1.5 million doses be administered and a record-breaking week for booster jabs. On Wednesday, 1.06 million vaccines were administered, the highest number ever – 968,665 of which were top-up doses, Press Association reports.

Health Secretary Sajid Javid paid tribute to NHS staff and volunteers giving up their time with family and friends to help the booster rollout over Christmas.

He said: “Thank-you for everything that you’ve done and everything that you’re doing – this Christmas and all year round.

“You continue to be the very best of us – you achieve phenomenal things and I’m proud to call you colleagues.”

NHS England chief Amanda Pritchard praised the “extraordinary team effort” of health service staff in the face of Omicron.

“I know it is a worrying time professionally and personally for everyone, and that many colleagues are drained after such a gruelling period,” she said.

“The NHS is nothing without its incredible staff. This time, thanks to NHS staff and volunteers, we are armed with the protection offered by first, second and booster doses.”