health

Who is eligible for the spring booster jab?


Five million people are eligible for the new booster (Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Up to five million people are now eligible for their fourth dose of the Covid-19 vaccine, also known as the spring booster jab.

So far, the general public has been offered two doses of the vaccine plus a third dose – sometimes called the first booster dose – since the vaccine campaign began in December 2020.

This spring booster is being offered as a precaution to those at extremely high risk as cases continue to rise, with the number of weekly cases reaching a record 4.5 million earlier this month.

With that in mind, who is eligible for a fourth jab right now?

Here is everything you need to know.

Who is eligible to get the spring booster jab?

Those aged over 75 and the immunosuppressed over 12 will be invited to book their vaccine.

You should be offered an appointment around six months (and not before 3 months) since your last dose.

The NHS will contact eligible people when it’s time for another vaccine dose, but you can also book online now (Picture: Getty)

Residents in care homes for the elderly will also be eligible to book their booster jab.

The NHS will be contacting 600,000 people this week to invite them to book their jab.

Once you have received your invitation, you can book your vaccine on the NHS website, or for free by calling 119 between 8am and 8pm.

To get the spring booster, people aged 75 and above need to have had the first two vaccines but you don’t have to have received the original booster jab.

However, the immunosuppressed will need to have all three previous jabs first.

The NHS website states: ‘If you are eligible for a spring booster, but have not had a first or second dose of the Covid-19 vaccine yet, you should have them as soon as possible.

‘If you have a severely weakened immune system you need to get a third dose before you get a booster.’

Those eligible for a spring booster dose will be contacted by the NHS around six months after their last dose.

Will the spring booster vaccine be available to the general public?

When it comes to the rest of the population, Sajid Javid has previously said there is a good chance a fourth jab will be offered more widely among the public by the autumn.

He added that he will follow the advice of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) before making a decision.

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Speaking on ITV’s Peston programme in mid-March, Javid said: ‘I think at some point they will and they’ve actually been clear, and 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, an offer of a boost, but I’ll wait for that advice.’

If you think you or a loved one might be eligible for another booster jab, you can find out more on the NHS website or call 119.


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