The NHS Autumn COVID booster is now available

The NHS Autumn COVID booster is now available

People aged 65 and over will be able to book their autumn COVID booster through the national booking system, as of 13 September.  

This means five million more people will now be able to boost their protection ahead of the winter months. The NHS COVID vaccine service will allow carers and pregnant women to book appointments, with bookings able to be made over the phone or online.  

Most at risk will receive the COVID booster first

People aged 75 and over, the severely immunosuppressed, and frontline health and care workers have been able to book their appointments and have been able to receive their latest booster dose since 7 September.  

The most at risk will be first in line as with previous campaigns. If it has been three months since their last dose people will be able to book online or through 119.  

Approximately 26 million people in England will be eligible for the autumn COVID booster over the coming weeks. Many hospital hubs will join the latest COVID booster drive, meaning the booster will be delivered to the public as well as their own staff.  

“There is no room for complacency in keeping COVID-19 on the back foot, and this COVID booster will help protect those most at risk” said NHS director of vaccinations and screening Steve Russell. 

“From today those aged 65 and over, pregnant women and carers are now able to get their jab. If you are one of those eligible, it is as important as ever to get your next dose, so please do come forward as soon as possible.”  

The NHS will be the first healthcare system to use the next-generation bivalent COVID vaccine. This vaccine contains two different antigens, based on two different COVID-19 strains. This varies from the original monovalent mRNA vaccine which only contained one antigen based on the original strain  

Research has suggested that the bivalent COVID vaccine produces a higher immune response against some variants than the Moderna mRNA original vaccine. The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) will consider further use of bivalent vaccines as they are approved by the MRHA.  

More groups will be eligible soon

Over the coming weeks, more groups will become eligible for the COVID booster. Over 50s, those with weakened immune systems, housebound people and pregnant women will be next in line in accordance with the guidance set out by JCVI. 

People with weakened immune systems are already able to self-declare and attend walk-ins, it is hoped this will make getting extra protection as easy as possible. Health and care workers are also able to book through national booking services.  

As of September, the NHS has been providing this year’s general flu vaccine, with eligible people able to flu jab and COVID booster at the same time, depending on local system arrangements.


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