Rollout has begun across the UK for the Covid spring booster. Here’s who is eligible for the second booster dose and when young people will be able to get their fourth coronavirus vaccine
Image: AFP via Getty Images)
The UK government has made a second Covid booster dose available for the most vulnerable sections of the country’s population.
The NHS has begun calling out around five million people who are eligible to get their spring booster jabs from Monday, March 21.
With new sub-variants and hybrids causing a spike in Covid cases, people are being urged to come forward for their next booster if they qualify for it.
Currently, the spring booster campaign is more sections of the population. However, Health Secretary Sajid Javid hinted that more sections of the population might be made eligible for the next dose of the vaccine later this year.
Who is currently eligible for the second booster dose?
The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunization (JCVI) has recommended that the second dose should be offered to the most vulnerable section of the population, including people aged over 75 and anyone over 12 who is immunosuppressed.
People who are immunosuppressed include those who:
have blood cancer (such as leukemia or lymphoma)
have a weakened immune system due to a treatment including steroids, chemo or radiotherapy
have had an organ or bone marrow transplant
suffer from conditions that put them at very high risk of contracting infections
have conditions or are under treatment, where specialists have advised them to take the dose
When will the Covid booster jab be available for young people?
The government has hinted that the second Covid booster – the fourth Covid vaccine dose – could be made available to all age groups by the end of the year.
There is no exact date or information on when younger sections of population could be made eligible for the fourth jab, however the idea is currently being discussed by the JCVI.
On the potential future rollout of this second booster, Sajid Javid recently told ITV: “I think at some point they will… their most recent advice is that they think that towards the end of this year, maybe in the autumn, there will be a need to give a lot more people a boost, but I’ll wait for that advice.”
Prime Minister Boris Johnson also said: “I hope you’ve all had your boosters? Well, we’re getting ready for a fourth jab, because we’re going to need it,” pointing towards the second booster being made available to everyone soon.
All adults will be offered either Pfizer or Moderna, and those who are aged between 12 and 18 will all be given the Pfizer vaccine.
How to book an appointment for your spring booster
The NHS will be in touch with everyone who is eligible to get their booster dose.
NHS chief executive Amanda Pritchard said: “There is no need to contact the NHS – when you are eligible for your ‘spring boost’ of protection, we will be in touch so you can book your appointment at one of hundreds of vaccination sites across the country.”
Once you’ve been invited by the NHS, you can then book your appointment online via the NHS website or by ringing NHS 119.
Together with measures to stop viruses spreading – like social distancing – vaccines are the best way to protect yourself and loved ones from Covid-19.
If you, or someone you know is worried about taking the Covid vaccine, join the conversation, seek reliable sources and learn the facts from medical professionals.
The Covid vaccines:
- save lives
- Protect the whole community
- Have met the strictest safety standards
- They had a huge global effort behind them
There are no human or animal products, including egg, in any of the Covid-19 vaccine ingredient lists.
There is no evidence to suggest the Covid-19 vaccines affect fertility.
For more information, visit the British Red Cross website.
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.