The UK’s booster vaccination rollout is being ramped up as part of a national mission to ‘top-up’ Covid-19 immunity levels this winter.
Third doses are now being offered to all over 18s to help tackle the rising number of coronavius cases, with older adults and those in an ‘at-risk’ group to be prioritised first.
Health Secretary Sajid Javid has called on the public to get their booster jab over the Christmas period in the hope it will help to prevent the highly transmissible Omicron strain from spreading even further.
The government has set a target of offering a booster to everyone who is eligible by the end of the year, with the gap between second and third doses now reduced to just three months.
If you are yet to get your booster dose, here’s what you need to know about the timing, how to book, and what to do if you fall ill with Covid-19.
When can I get my booster jab?
All adults over the age of 18 are eligible to receive a booster dose under new JCVI guidance.
Boosters are also being offered to people aged 16 years old and over with a severely weakened immune system.
You should receive a letter or a text inviting you to book your booster vaccine when you are eligible.
You may be asked to book this online or at a local NHS service, such as your GP surgery, or you can attend a walk-in centre without the need for an appointment.
How soon after Covid can I get a booster?
If you have tested positive for Covid-19, you will need to wait four weeks before you can get your booster dose.
This time period starts from the date you took the test.
Government guidance states that if you are not feeling well, you should wait until you are feeling better before getting your jab.
However, if you are certain you do not have Covid-19 and are well enough to leave your home, you can still attend your appointment.
If you are ill with a high temperature or fever, the NHS advises that you wait until you are better and take a test to check if it is Covid-19. If this comes back positive you will need to wait four weeks before booking your booster.
You should not attend a vaccine appointment if you are self-isolating, waiting for a coronavirus test or unsure if you are fit and well.
It is possible to rearrange your appointment via the NHS online booking system.
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