A new Covid vaccine booster program is due to open for bookings this week – when the first syringes are distributed.
The “life-saving” vaccine will be rolled out to people in care homes from today (September 5) as the NHS Covid-19 vaccination program moves to the next phase.
Bookings will then open wider from Wednesday, with invitations to book an appointment ending up on doormats across the country.
Who can get Covid booster shots?
The new booster is initially aimed at people in nursing homes, ahead of the fall and winter flu season.
From Wednesday, around seven million people, including people over the age of 75, people with immunosuppression and health and nursing staff, can register online or by calling 119.
Invitations will also be sent out by post to encourage those interested to book their appointment for the following week without delay.
The NHS will contact people when it is their turn to sign up for the vaccine – there is no need to contact the NHS.
As with previous campaigns, the oldest and most vulnerable will be called to the front first, with people able to book online or via 119 as long as three months have passed since their last dose.
NHS Chief Executive Amanda Pritchard said: “The NHS is once again launching a life-saving vaccination campaign to protect the nation from winter, starting with those most vulnerable to serious illness and hospitalization due to Covid and flu.
“NHS staff have been working incredibly hard to prepare for the latest phase of the Covid vaccine rollout – the largest and fastest in our 74-year history – with a record number of sites in local communities offering vaccinations to millions of people will.
“If the booking service is open on Wednesday, don’t hesitate – the best way to protect yourself from a serious illness this winter is to get the vaccine when asked to do so, as well as your annual flu shot if eligible. ”
NHS Director of Vaccination and Screening Steve Russell added: “NHS staff will be pulling out all the stops to expeditiously roll out the next phase of the NHS Covid-19 vaccination program again with more than 3,000 sites across the country involved.
“Starting Wednesday, over seven million people who are over the age of 75, who are immunocompromised, or who are frontline health and care workers can book an appointment for the following week – and if you receive an invitation, please sign up as soon as possible get the maximum protection from the winter.”
Why is the Covid-19 Omicron Booster different?
The jab, which is rolling out to more than 700 care homes across England this week, is billed as a ‘variant attack’ jab.
It is tailored to combat the Omicron variant, which has been causing a surge in cases where it became the dominant virus late last year and early 2022.
The Autumn Booster campaign is also designed to help the NHS prepare for winter when the service will face renewed strain.
Health bosses say the NHS continues to face record demand for its emergency and emergency services.
Other measures being introduced include increasing bed capacity, increasing the number of staff from 999 and NHS 111 and working with social care colleagues to ensure patients can be discharged on time.
What is the UK Covid alert level?
News of the booster’s introduction comes just days after ministers lowered the UK alert level from Level 3 to Level 2.
The decision, based on advice from the UKHSA, came after the UK’s Chief Medical Officers and the National Medical Director of NHS England recommended it was now safe to do so.
“Covid remains present in the community and we may see an increase in cases with BA 4.6 and BA.2.75 in circulation but do not expect this to result in an immediate increase in hospital pressure,” the senior medical advisers said in a statement.
“It will be further examined. Further flare-ups of Covid are likely so please be prepared by getting vaccinated when they are offered.”
https://www.theargus.co.uk/news/20900768.covid-booster-programme-rollout-starts-today—book/?ref=rss The rollout of the Covid Booster program starts today – how to book yours