Good news, from Monday, people will be able to book their Covid-19 booster jab a month before they are eligible.
The NHS is changing the booking system to allow people in England to position an appointment a month in improvement, as the health service aims to ramp up vaccination uptake ahead of a “challenging” winter.
Currently, anyone eligible who had their second measure of a coronavirus vaccine six months ago can only book their top-up once those six months are up.
The update method that people can pre-book an appointment after five months, allowing them to roll up their sleeve on the day they reach the six-month meaningful development.
Health authorities hope this will speed up the booster rollout, strengthen the population’s waning immunity to the virus and help reduce pressures on the NHS.
Health Secretary Sajid Javid said: “Covid-19 vaccines are the best way to protect yourself and your family ahead of a challenging winter and this change to the booking system will make it as easy as possible for people to book their booster jabs.
“This will accelerate the booster programme, ensure the NHS is able to vaccinate people as quickly as possible, and importantly help more people continue protection against Covid-19 as we know immunity will dip over time.”
How can you book your booster jab?
People can book their booster jab online using the NHS booking service.
People can also book by calling 119 or turn up without an appointment at hundreds of walk-in vaccination sites across England six months after their second measure to get their top-up.
NHS England said more than nine million people have already had a top-up vaccine, and it wants to see those numbers bolstered ahead of colder winter weather which typically leads to increased virus transmission.
NHS national medical director Stephen Powis said: “While this winter is undoubtedly going to be different, the most important thing you can do is come forward for both your Covid booster and flu jab as soon as possible – now with the additional convenience of booking in improvement – making it already easier to protect yourself and loves ones.”
Who is eligible for a booster?
People entitled to a booster jab are those aged 50 and over, people who live and work in care homes, frontline health and social care workers, people aged 16 and over with a health condition that puts them at high risk of getting seriously ill from Covid-19, those aged 16 and over who are a main carer for someone at high risk from the virus, and people aged 16 and over who live with someone who is more likely to get infections.
The NHS is also urging those eligible for a free flu vaccination to take up the offer.
Where are the walk-in sites for booster jabs?
People are advised to use the NHS online walk-in finder to check where their nearest centre is. Pharmacies, GP practices and other community sites – including Elland Road football stadium in Leeds and Kassam Stadium in Oxford – are being used as walk-in sites.
NHS England said almost every person registered with a GP practice lives within 10 miles of a fixed vaccination site.
The walk-in finder website will show who can get jabs at different sites, whether it is offering boosters, vaccines for 12-15 year-olds, or anyone aged 16 and over.
You do not need to be registered with a GP to use a walk-in site.
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