Those who are at highest risk of severe illness are being offered the chance to keep their immunity topped up with a Spring Covid-19 booster vaccination.
The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), which advises the government on Covid vaccination, has indicated that vaccinations should begin from 3 April in older adult care homes and on 17 April for the rest of the eligible population. The national booking system will open in early April for the public to start booking their appointments.
The vaccination will be available through a mixture of walk-in and booked appointments at pharmacies, GP sites, at designated health centres and hospital hubs across the city and county.
The spring booster will be offered to everyone aged 75 years and over, residents in care homes for older adults and people aged 5 years and over who are immunosuppressed. Eligible individuals will be offered the vaccine around 6 months after their previous dose.
People who have not yet received a 1st and 2nd dose of the Covid-19 vaccinations will still be able to receive this – however, following JCVI advice, availability of these vaccines will conclude at the end of the spring campaign on 30 June 2023.
Like some other vaccines, levels of protection may decline over time. Boosters are offered to help you maintain strong protection from becoming seriously ill or needing to go to hospital if you catch Covid-19.
Adam Hayward, Deputy Director of Operations for the Covid-19 Vaccination Programme, said: “We know that many eligible people will be very keen to have their spring booster, and it’s fantastic that the benefits of Covid vaccination are recognised by so many.
“It is important those at highest risk of severe illness do not become complacent and I would encourage everyone who is eligible to come forward once the booster programme starts. This year’s spring programme will bridge the gap to the planned booster programme in the autumn, enabling those who are most vulnerable to be well protected throughout the summer.
“The NHS will be contacting people when they are eligible to come forward for their top up dose. GP practices and community pharmacies are already extremely busy, so please don’t call them for a spring booster, as they won’t yet be able to help you until the programme opens in April.”
When you are contacted by the NHS, you will be invited to book an appointment via the National Booking System, or by calling 119.