Will there be another Covid booster jab as case numbers rise?

·2-min read
Certain groups are expected to be offered a second booster this autumn (Getty Images)
Certain groups are expected to be offered a second booster this autumn (Getty Images)

Covid cases are rising across the UK, likely driven by the latest Omicron variants BA.4 and BA.5.

According to government data, as of June 26, there had been a 33% increase in positive cases compared to the previous week, in England.

In the same period, there had been a 34% increase in patients admitted to hospital and a 22% increase in deaths within 28 days of a positive test.

Around 2.3 million people are thought to have had Covid in the last week, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

With the increase in Covid cases, when can the general public expect to be offered a second booster jab?

Who is eligible for a second Covid booster jab?

So far, only people aged 75 years and older, people who live in care homes, or people 12 and older with weakened immune systems have been offered a second booster.

In March, a statement from the government said: “If the number of infections increases over the summer, this booster should help to reduce your risk of being admitted to hospital with COVID-19.”

When will other people get a second Covid booster jab?

In May, The UK Health Security Agency said the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) had advised the government to launch a Covid booster vaccine campaign to other groups this autumn.

It said: “The JCVI’s current view is that in autumn 2022, a COVID-19 vaccine should be offered to: Residents in a care home for older adults and staff; Frontline health and social care workers; All those 65 years of age and over; Adults aged 16 to 64 years who are in a clinical risk group.

“We welcome the interim advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) for an Autumn Covid booster programme and will consider their final recommendations later this year.

“We have asked the NHS in England to begin preparations to ensure they are ready to deploy Covid vaccines to those eligible.”

The government has not yet announced when people outside of the aforementioned groups will be offered their second dose.

How to get a Covid booster jab

The second Covid booster jab is not available to the wider public yet. People who are eligible for the booster jab will receive a letter or text message asking them to book their appointment.

Walk-in vaccination sites are open for first and second doses for people aged five and older, first boosters for people aged 16 and older (plus children aged 12-15), second boosters for people aged 75 and older and people with weakened immune systems, and additional primary doses for people aged five and older with severely weakened immune systems.

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