The NHS is urging everyone in the South West who is eligible for a Covid-19 vaccine to come forward before the end of the spring programme.

With less than a month remaining before the deadline of June 30, everyone who is eligible is encouraged to get protected.

The reminder comes alongside the roll-out of joint appointment bookings, which can be made online or using NHS 119.

By selecting a joint booking, two eligible people aged 18 or over can get the Covid-19 vaccine in the same location at the same time.

Since the spring campaign's launch in April, 516,907 people in the South West have taken the vaccine offer, including nearly two-thirds of care home residents in the region.

Around 884,000 people in the South West are eligible for a vaccination, including anyone aged 75 or over by the June 30, along with older adult care home residents and people with a weakened immune system aged six months or over.

Dr Matthew Dominey, South West regional screening and immunisation lead, said: "We’re really proud of the fact we have one of the best take-up rates in the country.

“We aim to make it as easy as possible for people to get their vaccinations, so please don’t hesitate to get an appointment and protect yourself or the people you care for.”

Steve Russell, NHS national director for vaccinations and screening, added: "Covid can still be dangerous for those aged over 75 and those with compromised immune systems.

"It’s important to come forward if eligible – and now with the new joint booking option, the NHS is making it easier than ever."

Dr Mary Ramsay, director of public health programmes at the UK Health Security Agency, said: “If you have a weakened immune system, reside in a care home, or are 75 years or older, you are eligible for your COVID-19 vaccine. You don’t have to wait for the NHS to get in touch with you.

“If you are showing symptoms of COVID-19 or flu, stay at home and avoid contact with other people, especially those who are more vulnerable. If you do need to leave home, consider wearing a mask.”

Covid-19 can still cause severe illness and hospitalisations in some cases, particularly among those most at risk.

 The vaccine gives the best protection against the virus and its different variants and helps reduce the risk of serious illness.