The UK began vaccination rollout in December 2020, which started with the first phase prioritizing people based on age. During phase 1, only people aged 50 and above, frontline health and social workers, and those with underlying health conditions were the prime concern and eligible for boosters.
A booster is an extra dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, prolonging immunity and protection against the virus. According to the UK Health Security Agency, three doses of vaccine can effectively cut the risk of infection by more than 93%.
As the vaccination programme continues, people aged 40-49 can now have a booster jab six months after their second shot of the coronavirus vaccine, as announced by the UK’s medical regulators, to boost waning immunity in the population.
The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation announced that the rollout would be extended after the UK Health Security Agency released data from a real-world study showing booster gave 90% protection against symptomatic people aged 50 and over.
Ministers in England, Scotland, and Wales have agreed to extend boosters as they see this move as a critical element in an effort to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic over the winter. Additionally, Chief Medical Officer Jonathan Van Tam said that if this booster programme is successful, it would massively reduce hospitalization and death due to the COVID-19, especially this winter.
The booster recommendation programme has been approved, and health services are expected to offer the vaccine to those eligible as soon as possible.
How to get a booster shot?
If you are eligible for a booster jab, you can be offered a booster dose at least six months after having your second dose. You can choose to get yours by one of the following:
- Book a vaccination appointment online for an appointment at a vaccination centre or pharmacy.
- Head directly to a walk-in vaccination site to get vaccinated without needing an appointment.
- You can wait for a local NHS service such as GP surgery to contact you, then book an appointment with them.
- You can also pre-book your booster shot five months after your second dose.
Can people get a booster shot if they have COVID?
If you get a Covid-19 test and results come out positive for COVID, you would have to wait for four weeks or 28 days before having a booster dose. Children aged 12 to 17 must wait for 12 weeks before their third jab.
Take note that you must not take a booster shot if you have severe illness or high fever. A mild fever or a cold can be permitted and not a reason to cause delay.
Which COVID-19 vaccine will people get for their booster dose?
People can be offered either a dose of the Moderna vaccine or Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine. It means a booster dose does not necessarily have to be the same with your initial and second doses. Some might be offered Oxford/AstraZeneca if they cannot have Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna vaccine.
Are you looking for a testing provider?
Harley Medic International is a government-approved testing provider and an expert in COVID-19 testing. They have many locations across the UK, ensuring that a testing centre is near you. Getting a test is as easy as booking online and finding their closest clinic. Visit their website harleymedic.co.uk to learn more.