Millions in the UK are being offered the autumn Covid-19 booster vaccine ahead of winter.
So, who is eligible for the autumn Covid-19 booster, and how can you book your appointment?
Here’s all you need to know.
Who is eligible for the autumn booster jab?
Currently, the autumn booster jab is being offered to those in high-risk groups, including those who are pregnant or older.
People eligible for the booster now include:
- Those aged 65 or over
- Anyone who is pregnant
- Frontline health and social care workers
- Anyone aged five or over who is at high risk due to a health condition
- Anyone aged five or over who is at high risk because of a weakened immune system
- Anyone aged 16 or over who lives with someone who has a weakened immune system
- Anyone aged 16 and over who is a carer, either paid or unpaid.
Later in autumn, anyone aged between 50 and 64 will also become eligible for the booster vaccine, confirms the NHS.
You should have your booster at least three months after your last dose of Covid-19 vaccine.
It’s also worth noting that, if you’re offered the flu vaccine at the same time, it’s OK to get them both together (or, if you prefer, have them at separate times, too).
And if you test positive for Covid-19, you should ideally wait four weeks before having your autumn booster. You should not attend your appointment if you are self-isolating or waiting on a Covid-19 test.
When will the booster jab be offered? How to book yours
The autumn booster is being rolled out from now through to December 2022.
If you’re eligible you should be offered an appointment – via SMS (text), email or a physical letter.
You can book Covid-19 jabs online via the NHS website – this includes the autumn booster, as well as first doses, second doses and subsequent boosters, if you’re yet to get vaccinated.
People can also phone 119 to book their jab.
Health officials are advising people to get the autumn Covid-19 booster vaccine if offered.
NHS director of vaccinations Steve Russell in a September 28 news bulletin: ‘The NHS Covid-19 booster programme is off to a flying start with over two million people topping up their protection ahead of winter.
‘But with experts warning that Covid and flu could combine in a ‘twindemic’ there is no room for complacency. We are still seeing hundreds of patients [with Covid-19] being admitted to hospital every day and getting an autumn booster could save your life.
‘So, I urge anyone eligible who is yet to get their vaccine, to come forward and book a jab online through the NHS website or by calling 119 as soon as possible if you haven’t yet sorted an appointment.’
Which autumn booster vaccine will you be offered?
Those that receive the autumn booster will be given a dose of vaccine made by Pfizer or Moderna.
You may be offered an updated combination version of these booster vaccines, which include a half-dose of the previous vaccine combined with a half-dose of a vaccine against the Omicron variant.
The UK is the first country to approve the dual vaccine.
The government’s guide to the booster states: ‘As we cannot predict which variants of Covid-19 will be circulating this winter, the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has concluded that both types of vaccine can be used in adults and that no one should delay vaccination to receive combination vaccines.
‘So you will be offered the right vaccine for you at the right time.’
Share your views in the comments below