People across the UK are being urged to come forward for their Covid-19 booster jabs to ensure the highest level of protection this winter.
Health experts have warned that the immunity provided by two vaccine doses starts to wane over time and getting a booster is the best way to protect against infection, particularly in light of the rapidly spreading Omicron variant.
The highly transmisible Covid-19 strain has been found to largely evade immunity from past coronavirus infection or two vaccine doses, making boosters key to mitigating its impact.
Researchers at Imperial College London warned that the risk of reinfection with Omicron is 5.4 times greater than that of the Delta variant, and the level of immune evasion means it poses “a major, imminent threat to public health.”
All adults can now book a booster vaccine just two months after their second dose to avoid delays, but will only be eligible to get their jab after a three month gap.
People should receive a letter or a text inviting them to book an appointment once they are eligible, which can be done online via the NHS national booking system or by calling 119. It is also possible to get vaccinated at walk-in sites without an appointment.
If you have had a positive Covid-19 test, you will need to wait four weeks before booking your booster from the date you had the test.
Most people will be offered a dose of the Pfizer or the Moderna vaccine for their booster dose, meaning it could be different to what was given for the first and second jabs.
It is normal to experience some mild side effects after vaccination and in some cases symptoms may be more intense than previous doses.
If you are given the Pfizer vaccine for your booster jab, these are 10 of the most common side effects to expect.