Covid booster: Should I wait to be called in – or can I go for a walk-in appointment?

There has been some confusion over if people are eligible for their Covid booster. People who are can expect to be able to book their jab or visit a walk-in centre, but there have been problems

People queue outside Moseley Community Hub Vaccination Centre in Birmingham for their Covid 19 booster jab
People queue outside Moseley Community Hub Vaccination Centre in Birmingham for their Covid 19 booster jab

Boris Johnson’s recent announcement about booster jabs and coronavirus restrictions has led to big queues.

The Prime Minister announced an accelerated booster jab plan on Sunday, but this has already run into trouble.

GPs across the country are expected to jab 1 million people every day for the rest of December to try and tackle the Omicron strain.

The NHS website crashed and people attempting to book their booster on Monday, December 13 were shown a holding page saying the site is ‘currently experiencing technical difficulties’.

Meanwhile, large lines of people have been seen outside vaccination centres. So should you queue up for your booster or wait to be called?

I’m over 18, should I wait to be called for my Covid booster jab?

The booster rollout was an abrupt change



You do not have to wait for your booster jab, you can book one if you are eligible.

There has been some confusion over who is eligible, such has been the abruptness and speed of the sudden rollout.

Boosters are available in England for everyone that falls under the following criteria:

  • aged 30 and over
  • aged 16 and over with a health condition that puts you at high risk from COVID-19
  • a frontline health or social care worker

Over 30s can book a booster online as long as the booster is two months after their second dose. This will be extended to people over 18 on Wednesday, December 15.

Pat Cullen, general secretary and chief executive at the Royal College of Nursing, said: “We are concerned about the scale and pace of this expansion, given these same nurses are already facing huge demands under existing unsustainable pressures in every part of the UK health and care system.”

Am I allowed to go to a walk-in centre for my booster jab?

People queuing for booster jabs at St Thomas’ Hospital, London



Appointments at walk-in centres depend on where you live and your age.

Walk-in boosters are available for the following people:

The NHS plans to roll out the following, but stresses that this is not yet available:

  • a booster dose to everyone aged 18 to 29 years old
  • a booster dose to people aged 16 years old and over with a severely weakened immune system
  • a 2nd dose to all children aged 12 to 15 years old who are not already eligible

The government said: “If there are long queues or all slots have been booked, people are encouraged to be patient and keep trying, or book online.”

Omicron is a concern as it is believed to be more infectious than other variants and the vaccine may well be less effective against it. However, while this is not proven, early studies do indicate that a booster jab can stop up to 75% of people from getting any symptoms of the virus.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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