With the third coronavirus vaccine - or 'booster jab' - now available to all over-18s from today, people are encouraged to get their jab booked, in a bid to have all adults in England fully vaccinated by the end of the year.

Across our area, the vaccine take-up is in line with the national average. Data from the UK Health Security Agency revealed that 42 per cent of Stevenage's adult population, which is 28,2295 of 67,749 people, have received their third jab, with almost 39,500 still left to have the vaccine. Across the county, Broxborne and Watford also had a 42 per cent uptake.

In North Herts, which includes Hitchin, Letchworth, Baldock, Royston and the surrounding villages, almost half of the 104,328 eligible adults have been given a further dose of the coronavirus vaccine. 53,837 are yet to take up the offer.

And across the border in Central Beds, which includes the nearby towns of Shefford and Stotfold, 45 per cent of those over the age of 18, just over 100,000 people, have had three doses of coronavirus vaccine. With a population of 228,899 adults, a further 127, 005 people are yet to be fully vaccinated.

The lowest take-up in Herts is currently in Welwyn Hatfield, with 36 per cent of those aged 18+ having had their third jab - making that 62, 599 people left to get their booster vaccine.

Other parts of the county are in similar stead to our neck of the woods, with East Herts and Dacorum seeing a 46 per cent uptake.

The highest uptake is in Hertsmere at 53 per cent, with St Albans coming closely behind with 51 per cent. In Three rivers, half of the adult population has been given all three recommended doses.

It comes as the Prime Minister announced on Sunday his “Omicron emergency booster national mission” to protect the NHS by ramping up vaccinations and rolling out 1m boosters a day.

Cllr Morris Bright MBE, deputy leader of Hertfordshire County Council and executive member for public health, said: “With cases of the Omicron variant spreading quickly through our communities, I want to issue my reassurance that we as a county council are well prepared to face the challenges that may come, and to keep our vital services running across Hertfordshire.

"Standing shoulder to shoulder with our NHS colleagues and district and borough partners we are doing all we can to support the drive to speed up booster vaccinations, which offer the strongest line of protection against the virus.

"I would personally like to encourage everyone who is eligible to book their booster jab as soon as possible, to protect yourself and those around you."

To book your booster vaccination, visit the NHS website or contact you GP surgery to arrange an appointment.