As Omicron cases continue to rise, people across the Black Country and West Birmingham are being encouraged to come forward for their three vaccination doses.

While two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine provides strong protection against the Delta variant, data shows that two jabs are not enough to stop you being affected by the Omicron variant.

However, a third booster dose prevents around 75% of people getting any COVID-19 symptoms. It’s never been more important to get a first and second jab in order to be eligible for a booster and get protected against the fast spreading Omicron variant.

To receive a booster jab, people must have had their second dose at least three months ago. Anyone who tested positive for the virus recently should wait until four weeks after the date they were tested to get a dose of the vaccine.

Sally Roberts, Chief Nursing Officer for NHS Black Country and West Birmingham Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “We know that vaccines have been extremely effective against existing COVID-19 variants, but they are most effective against the Omicron variant when you have had a first, second and booster dose.

“Vaccination remains our best defence against the virus, but it doesn’t mean you won’t get it. Some people may still get COVID-19, however a full vaccination course will reduce your chance of becoming seriously ill and help to reduce the risk of you passing it on.

“So, whether you are due a first, second or booster dose, it’s not too late to come forward to protect yourself, your family and your friends. There are over 100 vaccination sites across the local area so it’s never been easier to get vaccinated.”

Anyone eligible for a first, second or booster dose is encouraged to come forward as soon as possible, with appointments available to book online via the National Booking System or by calling 119.

Walk-in appointments are also available at a number of vaccination sites across the area including Tipton Sports Academy in Sandwell, The Saddlers Vaccination Centre in Walsall, the Cardiac Rehab Gym at City Hospital, the Mander Vaccination Centre in Wolverhampton and Saltwells Education Centre in Dudley.