NHS Lothian announced on Tuesday that the body along with the region’s four Health and Social Care Partnerships has administered more than half a million booster doses in the area.

The health board launched its “Get Boosted by the Bells” ahead of Hogmanay in an effort to get as many people vaccinated as possible in a short time.

And NHS Lothian are still encouraging everyone eligible to get their dose of vaccine as soon as they can to get protection against the omicron variant which continues to spread all over Lothian. Those aged 12-17 who are eligible for a second dose are also asked to go to a drop in clinic as long as it is at least 12 weeks since their first dose and they have not tested positive for Covid-19 in the last 12 weeks.

Today it was reported that there were 10,392 new cases of Covid-19 and 1,655 of those were in Lothian.

Jane McNulty, Director of Nursing for Primary and Community Care, NHS Lothian, said there was still an urgent need to provide as much protection as possible.

She added: “We are thrilled to have passed the half a million milestone in Lothian and I would like to thank everyone who has come forward for vaccination so far. However, we still have more work to do.

“Some people may appear to experience milder symptoms, but we must remember that the Omicron variant is much more transmissible than previous strains. This means that although a smaller percentage of infected people may require hospitalisation, it is a smaller percentage of a far greater number of people.

“Getting a booster doesn’t mean you won’t get COVID-19, but it definitely reduces the chances of it and significantly enhances your protection against serious illness – it could literally save yours, or someone else’s, life.

“Please don’t delay your vaccination. Every booster administered is a helps us stop the spread and brings us closer to ending the pandemic.

“It has never been easier for members of the public to receive a COVID-19 vaccination booster. We have plenty of vaccine available across our sites, along with plenty of appointments. Our centres are running very efficiently with low queue times.

“All you have to do to book an appointment is call the National Helpline on 0800 030 8013 or visit NHS Inform’s website to book online. Alternatively you can attend drop-in to a vaccination clinic where available without an appointment.”