Covid booster jabs: Am I eligible, when can I book my booster jab and how?

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The NHS is continuing to offer booster jabs (PA Wire)
The NHS is continuing to offer booster jabs (PA Wire)

Booster vaccines will be offered to everyone over the age of 18 by January 31, Boris Johnson has announced.

Millions of people will be contacted and encouraged to use the National Booking Service in a bid to keep hospitalisations low.

Mr Johnson said at least 400 military personnel will help the NHS and volunteers deliver jabs, with centres “popping up like Christmas trees”.

He said: “We’ve already done almost 18 million boosters across the UK but we’ve got millions more to do to protect the most vulnerable.

“Then we’ll move down the cohorts rapidly, and working together with the devolved administrations we want to ramp up capacity across the whole United Kingdom to the levels we achieved in the previous vaccination effort.

“We’re going to be throwing everything at it in order to ensure that everyone eligible is offered that booster, as I say, in just over two months.”

Deputy chief medical officer Jonathan Van-Tam announced, on November 29, that booster jabs would be extended to anyone over the age of 18. Previously booster jabs had been limited to the over-40s, those in frontline healthcare roles and the clinically vulnerable.

The JCVI announced:

* All adults aged 18 to 39 years should be offered a booster dose, in order of descending age groups, to increase their levels of protection.

* Booster doses should be given no sooner than three months after the primary course - a first and second dose. Previously it had been six months.

* All severely immunosuppressed individuals should be offered their booster dose - a fourth innoculation - no sooner than three months after completing their primary course of three doses.

* 12 to 15-year-olds should receive a second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid vaccine, no sooner than 12 weeks after the first dose.

How can I book a booster jab?

Anyone eligible who had their second dose of a coronavirus vaccine at least three months ago can go to a walk-in centre by using this link on the NHS website. You can also contact 119 for further information.

Who is being offered a third Covid vaccine?

Those eligible for boosters include anyone aged 18 and over, people living and working in care homes for the elderly, and frontline health and social care workers.

There are also booster campaigns in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

When will the Covid booster vaccine be given and when can I contact the NHS?

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has said people should receive their booster dose at least three months after they received their second coronavirus jab.

The NHS officially launched its coronavirus booster campaign in September when hospitals began with vaccinating frontline health and care workers.

You can book a booster vaccine - either the NHS will contact you to say you can book your appointment - or you can do it yourself online on the NHS website or by calling 119.

To make things easier for yourself, you should have your NHS number.

How has the booster rollout progressed so far?

The booster campaign is finally begin to gather momentum following warnings from experts it was going “too slowly”.

As of Monday, November 29more than 17million people had received a booster jab.

Boris Johnson has said booster jabs are the “key thing” to preventing the Government having to implement Plan B measures this Winter.

Which vaccine is being used for the boosters?

Patients are currently receiving either the Pfizer jab as a third dose or half doses of the Moderna vaccine.

Experts say the Pfizer vaccine is safe to be given alongside the usual winter flu jab and the JCVI has said the jab should be the “preference” for GPs going forward.

There are three vaccines which have been approved as safe and effective as boosters – AstraZeneca, Pfizer and Moderna – but experts have decided to opt for Pfizer after studies showed it is well tolerated and works well as a booster.

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