Coronavirus booster vaccine jabs for millions of people in England will begin to be offered this week, the NHS has announced.
The vaccine will be available to care home residents, people who are 75 and over, and the immunosuppressed aged 12 and over. A total of around five million people are expected to be given the jab, with around 600,000 invited to book their dose this week, according to the health service.
Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid said: “Our phenomenal vaccination programme has saved countless lives and built a wall of defence which has allowed us to learn to live with Covid. Following the massive success of the rollout so far, we are now offering over-75s and the most vulnerable a spring booster dose to top up their protection against this virus.”
The NHS Covid-19 vaccination programme will contact people when it is their turn to be vaccinated again and, once they have an invitation, they will be able to book their appointment through the National Booking System either online or by calling NHS 119. Local NHS teams will also be administering the jab in care homes.
NHS chief executive Amanda Pritchard said: “The NHS Covid-19 vaccination programme has not stopped in its efforts to protect people from coronavirus – around five million of the most vulnerable people will be eligible for a spring dose and from tomorrow (Monday), we will start giving eligible groups their additional top-up in protection.
“We have protected millions of people at speed thanks to the efforts of our staff, aided by volunteers. They will once again rise to the next challenge. There is no need to contact the NHS – when you are eligible for your ‘spring boost’ of protection, we will be in touch so you can book your appointment at one of hundreds of vaccination sites across the country.”
Eligible adults will be offered either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, with any eligible people aged between 12 and 18 offered the Pfizer vaccine.