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HomeHealthAutumn Covid booster: Who is eligible and can you book them now?

Autumn Covid booster: Who is eligible and can you book them now?


The NHS has started handing out Covid booster doses amid concerns about a mutant variant sweeping the country.

Care home residents and those who are homebound are the first to receive an extra dose as part of the autumn rollout in England, which began today.

The plan was brought forward by a whole month to increase protection among the most vulnerable amid fears the Pirola variant would trigger a new wave and overwhelm the NHS.

Some 34 infections caused by the Omicron subsidiary have been confirmed in England, but health chiefs warn the true scale of the outbreak is much larger as almost no one is testing for the virus.

Here, MailOnline details everything you need to know about the autumn Covid rollout.

Care home residents and those who are homebound are the first to receive a top-up dose as part of the autumn rollout in England, which began today.

Who is eligible to receive a Covid booster?

Those most at risk of becoming seriously ill from Covid will be offered a booster dose.

  • residents in a nursing home
  • all adults 65 years and older
  • people from 6 months to 64 years in a clinical risk group
  • frontline health and social workers
  • people aged 12 to 64 who live with someone who is immunosuppressed
  • people aged 16 to 64 who are caregivers and staff who work in nursing homes

Those in a clinical risk group include people with chronic respiratory, heart, kidney or liver diseases, as well as those with diabetes, immunosuppression (such as chemotherapy patients), and serious mental illness. The group also includes pregnant women and people with morbid obesity.

This marks a change from the booster rollout last fall, when everyone over 50 was offered a booster dose.

However, the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunization, which advises officials on the plan, said it should be limited to over-65s by 2023.

Covid and flu vaccines will only be offered to over-65s this winter, health chiefs have confirmed.

Vaccines and Covid will be offered to over-65s this year, as well as care home residents and NHS staff.

Who can receive the vaccine now?

Priority is being given to care home residents and those who are housebound as they are considered to be at higher risk of contracting Covid.

They will begin receiving a booster dose starting today.

When can they attack other groups?

The NHS will invite more groups to receive their booster from September 18.

Those most likely to become seriously ill from Covid will be offered the vaccine first, followed by lower risk groups.

Your GP or other local NHS service may also be able to offer people a vaccine sooner.

How can I book a jab?

Those who are eligible will be contacted by the NHS.

These groups will be able to book their vaccines from September 18 via the NHS website, the NHS app or by calling 119.

What vaccines are being used?

Covid vaccines manufactured by Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and Sanofi/GSK will be used in the autumn campaign.

Each of these vaccines has been updated to be more effective against new Covid variants.

Why was the booster launch brought forward?

Officials brought forward the start date of the Covid booster rollout as a “precautionary measure” after the Pirola variant, scientifically known as BA.2.86, was detected in the UK.

The UK Health Security Agency said accelerating the program will increase protection, support those most at risk of serious illness and reduce pressure on the NHS.

Why should you get a Covid booster?

The NHS is encouraging eligible people to receive the autumn booster vaccine “as soon as they can and without delay”.

Health chiefs are concerned about the Covid BA.2.86 strain sweeping the UK and which is significantly more mutated than other circulating variants.

Those eligible for a booster dose are considered to be most at risk and the vaccine will increase their protection against severe illness, hospitalization and deaths from Covid ahead of the winter period when cases are expected to rise.

Even eligible people who have had previous jabs and Covid infections should come forward for a booster dose as immunity wanes over time, the NHS says.

Last year, those who received a booster dose in the fall were 53 percent less likely to be admitted to hospital with Covid in the month after the injection, compared to those who did not receive a dose.

Steve Russell, director of vaccines and screening for NHS England, said: “As concerns arise about new Covid variants, it is vital that we adapt the program and introduce it to those most at risk, which is why I strongly urge all those eligible to come forward as soon as possible. as they can for this important protection in the colder months.

“NHS staff have worked hard to ensure services are ready for patients to be vaccinated at an earlier stage so they can get protection as soon as possible.”

Dr Mary Ramsay, head of immunization at the UK Health Security Agency, said: “Older people and those in clinical risk groups remain at highest risk of severe illness from Covid.”

He added: “The vaccine continues to provide the best protection against serious illness and hospitalization from Covid, so make sure you get vaccinated when it is offered to you and encourage your loved ones who are eligible to do the same.”

Merry C. Vega is a highly respected and accomplished news author. She began her career as a journalist, covering local news for a small-town newspaper. She quickly gained a reputation for her thorough reporting and ability to uncover the truth.

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