BRITS are set for a challenging winter and the vulnerable have been urged to come forward for their coronavirus booster jab.
In a major change announced yesterday, people eligible for their top-up dose don't have to book in for a slot, they can now turn up to a walk-in centre.
Getting a third vaccine shot will ensure you have the optimal level of protection against Covid this winter.
The Sun is also urging Brits to come forward for their booster jabs after launching the Give Britain a Booster campaign.
Dr Nikki Kanani, GP and deputy lead for the NHS Covid-19 vaccination programme, said: “NHS staff are making it as easy as possible for people to get their top-up vaccination, and from today people can now go online, find their nearest site and go and get their booster without delay.
“The booster is not just a nice to have – it is really important protection ahead of what we know will be a challenging winter.
"So if you are eligible, please do check the site finder and go get your jab.”
How to book your booster vaccine
First you need to go to the dedicated NHS booking site.
When you book your jab, you’ll only need to select a time and day for one slot – unlike booking the first and second dose when you were asked to book them both at once.
If you have recently had coronavirus then you should wait four weeks before booking your appointment.
To book your appointment you need to click the green “book now” button.
You'll then be asked if you know your NHS number or not.
If you have your NHS number it will make it a little bit faster to book, if not you then have to fill out all of your personal details.
Walk in centre
If you don't want to book a slot for your booster you can go to one of the hundreds of walk-in-sites across the country that are now offering booster vaccines as the NHS ‘Grab-a-Jab’ campaign returns.
Brits can use the NHS online walk-in finder to find the most convenient site to get their top-up without an appointment.
Walk in centres are also offering vaccinations to 12-15 year olds to get their jab, and parents should check the ‘Grab-a-Jab’ website to find their nearest centre, which is updated each day as new sites open up.
Parents can continue to use the national booking service to book their child’s jab or through the ongoing schools programme.
The NHS is also encouraging the public to use NHS 111 online to get urgent medical advice quickly – ahead of what England’s top doctor says will be a "winter like no other".
Who can book a booster?
Only those who had their second coronavirus vaccine dose six months ago are eligible for a booster shot, because immunity starts to wane at this point.
People who will be invited for a booster include:
- people 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
- people aged 16 and over who are a main carer for someone at high risk from Covid
- people aged 16 and over who live with someone who is more likely to get infections (such as someone who has HIV, has had a transplant or is having certain treatments for cancer, lupus or rheumatoid arthritis)
Most people will be invited to book an appointment at a larger vaccination centre, pharmacy, or local NHS service such as a GP surgery.
Frontline health or social care workers can book a booster dose appointment online and do not need to wait to be contacted by the NHS.
People who work for an NHS trust or a care home will usually get their booster dose through their employer.
Speaking at the Downing Street briefing on October 20, Health Secretary Sajid Javid said: “If we all play our part, then we can give ourselves the best possible chance in this race, get through this winter, and enjoy Christmas with our loved ones.
“Because all of these precious moments that we’ve been able to restore over the past few months, the loved ones that we’ve been able to see and the collective experiences that we’ve been able to share, they’ve been possible thanks to out vaccination programme and because of so many of you that came forward when it was your time.
“And if we want to secure these freedoms for the long-term then the best thing that we can do is come forward once again when that moment comes.”
Outside of England
In Scotland, you will recieve a letter inviting you to book your booster vaccine.
If you're an eligible frontline health and social care worker, you can book your coronavirus booster online at https://vacs.nhs.scot/csp.
Public Health Wales says the NHS will be in contact with you to let you know when and where to have the vaccine.
If you are at the six month mark, and have not been contacted yet, you could try reaching your local health board.
In Northern Ireland, the programme will primarily be delivered by GPs and community pharmacies.
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