How to book your Covid booster jab in the UK – and who is eligible to get one

Senior health officials are calling on people to get their booster shots to prevent the implementation of stricter Covid restrictions on Christmas.

Growing levels of Covid infection before Christmas are of growing concern, with Health Secretary Sajid Javid warning that cases could reach 100,000 per day.

The government insisted that the Covid B plan – which includes the mandatory use of face masks – would only be activated if the NHS comes under “significant pressure”.

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NHS England National Medical Director Professor Stephen Powis said getting a booster “will protect the freedom and the Christmas we’ve all earned”.

But who is eligible for a booster vaccine and how do I book one? This is what you need to know.

When can I get my jab booster?

The NHS Covid-19 recall campaign is now underway, with local vaccination services led by general practitioners currently contacting eligible patients.

Letters and texts were sent to some 1.5 million people from September 20 urging them to make an appointment.

People can also be notified by mail or by their general practitioner to organize a reservation.

The JCVI said people should receive their booster dose at least six months after receiving their second coronavirus vaccine.

How do I reserve my jab booster?

In England, people are expected to receive a letter or text urging them to reserve their dose of the booster vaccine when they are eligible.

You can only book your jab booster online if you have been contacted by the NHS and are either:

The reservation system will only allow you to reserve your third dose if at least six months have passed since you received your second injection.

You must wait to be contacted by the NHS before booking your booster. You may be asked to book this online or with a local NHS service, such as your GP office.

If you have had a positive Covid-19 test, you will need to wait four weeks before booking your booster from the date of the test.

If you are in Scotland, the NHS Information Site has a handy tool that explains how you will be invited for your booster vaccination.

In Wales, you will be contacted by your health department when it is your turn to book your jab. You should not contact your GP to request an appointment.

In Northern Ireland, the booster program has already started with a dose offered to residents and staff in nursing homes. General practitioners will soon begin inviting their older patients first to receive their reminder. You must wait to be contacted to make an appointment.

What vaccine will I receive?

Those eligible for the booster will be offered either a full dose of Pfizer vaccine or a half dose of Moderna vaccine.

These vaccines will be used regardless of which vaccine individuals receive for their first two doses, as these vaccines have both been shown to provide a strong booster response.

In cases where none of these vaccines can be offered, for example due to an allergy, the JCVI advises that the AstraZeneca vaccine can be used for those who have received this vaccine for their first and second dose.

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