Covid booster: Who will get another jab this autumn?

Young woman is vaccinatedImage source, Getty Images
Image caption,

The rollout will begin in early autumn, a year after the first Covid boosters were given

The autumn Covid booster campaign will start on 5 September in England, with care home residents and housebound people the first to get jabs.

Many of those receiving a further dose will get a new vaccine from Moderna, which tackles both the original Covid virus and the recent Omicron variant.

Who will get an autumn booster?

Another Covid vaccine dose will be offered to:

  • adults aged 50 and over
  • people aged five to 49 with health conditions which put them at higher risk – including pregnant women
  • care home staff
  • frontline health and social care workers
  • carers aged 16 to 49
  • household contacts of people with weakened immune systems

A wider rollout will follow on 12 September, which will prioritise the oldest and most vulnerable.

Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland organise their own Covid booster rollouts, but are likely to follow England’s approach.

Which vaccine will people be offered?

The UK is the first country to approve the dual vaccine.

However, health officials say people should take whichever booster they are offered, as all vaccines provide protection against becoming severely ill or dying from Covid.

Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,

As happened last year, many people will be offered a free flu jab along with their Covid booster

Previous boosters were a single dose of either Pfizer or Moderna – regardless of which vaccine you received previously.

Anyone who could not have Pfizer or Moderna for medical reasons was offered a booster dose of AstraZeneca.

First and second vaccine doses are either AstraZeneca or (for under-40s) Pfizer or Moderna.

Which children can get jabbed?

  • all 12 to 15-year-olds are offered two doses of Pfizer
  • all 16 and 17-year-olds can have a booster, three months after their second jab
  • 12 to 15-year-olds in an at-risk group, or who live with someone with a weakened immune system, can have a booster

How do I book my Covid vaccine?

You can also go to a walk-in clinic, although not all centres offer jabs to under-12s, and some have closed since the initial vaccination push.

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You can’t yet book an autumn booster jab

You should leave eight weeks between your first and second doses and wait at least 12 weeks before having a booster.

  • In England: You can book online, by calling 119, or visiting a walk-in clinic
  • In Scotland: Over-16s can register for their first dose or book their second or booster dose online, or by calling 0800 030 8013
  • In Wales: Over-16s will be invited for their booster. If you haven’t been invited – or you haven’t had your first two doses – you can contact your health board
  • In Northern Ireland: Appointments for over-fives can be made online or by calling 0300 200 7813

Carers of five to 11-year-olds in Scotland and Wales should wait to be offered an appointment.

How many people have been vaccinated?

More than 79% of all over-75s had a spring booster.

Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,

Many pregnant women complained they weren’t given enough information about the Covid jab

How long after Covid can I have a booster?

Under-18s who are not at higher risk from Covid should wait 12 weeks.

You should not have the booster if you have a severe illness or high fever. However, both Pfizer and Moderna say you do not need to delay for a mild fever or a cold.

The vaccines do not infect you with Covid and cannot cause positive results on a Covid test.

What are the side effects?

They are part of the body’s normal immune response to vaccines and tend to resolve within a day or two.

Media caption,

Why it is normal for some people to experience short-term side effects from Covid-19 vaccines

You should discuss any existing serious allergies with your healthcare professional before being vaccinated.

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