Every eligible adult can book their booster jab from today as the NHS COVID-19 Vaccination programme seeks to protect the nation from the new Omicron strain of the virus.
People aged 18 to 29 can now use the national booking service to make an appointment to get their jab at one of thousands of centres across the country.
Every adult is eligible for a jab three months after their second following updated guidance from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation on 29 November.
‘The NHS COVID-19 Vaccination programme, the biggest and most successful in health service history, is once again pulling out all the stops to protect the country from this cruel virus,’ said Dr Emily Lawson, Head of the NHS COVID-19 Vaccination programme.
‘Millions more people can book their booster from today and NHS staff are working flat out to set up more sites and put on extra appointments. This is by far the most complex but critical phase of the biggest and most successful vaccination drive and so with latest data showing that the booster is our best hope of protecting people against the new variant, it is vital people come forward as soon as possible by booking their slot online to guarantee that vital jab.’
The UK Health Security Agency published data showing two doses of a COVID vaccine are not enough to stop people becoming unwell from Omicron. A third booster prevents around 75% of people getting any COVID symptoms.
In response to the threat of the new variant, vaccination sites have been asked to operate 12 hours a day, seven days a week wherever possible and in every community there should be slots available at least 16 hours a day – with some sites extending to 24-hour operation to make it easier for people who work shift patterns.
‘We are turbocharging the vaccine rollout to ensure as many people as possible can get boosted now as we continue our fight against the Omicron variant,’ said Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid.
‘From today, every adult in England who had their second dose two months ago can pre-book an appointment for that vital top-up jab. Please do not delay – getting your booster is one of the most important things you can do this winter.’