People aged 50 and over, those in care homes, and frontline health and social care workers will be offered a booster dose of the Pfizer vaccine, as experts confirm it is safe to be given alongside the winter flu jab.
Around 30 million people will be eligible to receive the third vaccine dose, with the NHS set to begin contacting people from Monday (20 September).
Wales has also announced it will rollout a booster programme, while Scotland and Northern Ireland are yet to confirm plans.
The decision to offer vulnerable groups a third vaccine dose comes following advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), with people to receive their jab at least six months after they received their second dose.
The “massive” booster campaign is intended to avoid the need for further lockdowns, as experts warn of a tough winter for the NHS.
Professor Jonathan Van-Tam, deputy chief medical officer for England, told a Downing Street briefing: “We know that this pandemic is still active, we are not past the pandemic, we are in an active phase still.
“We know this winter could be bumpy at times and we know that winter viruses such as flu and RSV (respiratory syncytial virus) are highly likely to make their returns.
“So with that in mind, the aim of the game – the mantra – is to stay on top of things.”
Some parts of England are still lagging behind in administering second doses with just over 50 per cent of over 16s fully vaccinated, while other areas are storming ahead.
Listed are the areas of England where the most people aged 16 or over are fully jabbed, based on the latest data up to 13 September. Images are for illustrative purposes.