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Nurse holding sign - vaccine requiredImage source, Getty Images

Everyone aged 50 and over in the UK will be offered another Covid booster vaccine this autumn.

The programme will also include frontline health and care workers, as well as younger people who are at higher risk from the disease.

Who will get an autumn booster?

Another Covid vaccine dose will be offered to:

  • adults aged 50 and over
  • people aged five to 49 with health conditions which mean they’re at higher risk – including pregnant women
  • care home staff
  • frontline health and social care workers
  • unpaid carers
  • household contacts of people with weakened immune systems

The rollout will begin in early autumn, a year after the first Covid boosters were given.

Originally only healthy people aged over 65 were expected to be offered another jab, but the programme has been expanded in response to the spread of the Omicron variant.

Who was offered the Spring booster?

  • adults aged 75 and over
  • residents in care homes for older adults
  • those aged 12 and over with weakened immune systems

How many people have been vaccinated?

Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,

Many pregnant women complained they weren’t given enough information about the Covid jab

At the end of May, nearly three million people in England were still completely unvaccinated, leaving them at greater risk of becoming hospitalised or dying if they become seriously ill with Covid.

How long after Covid can I have a booster?

Under-18s who aren’t at higher risk from Covid should wait 12 weeks.

You shouldn’t have the booster if you have a severe illness or high fever. However, Pfizer and Moderna say you don’t need to delay for a mild fever or a cold.

The vaccines don’t infect you with Covid and can’t cause positive results on a Covid test.

Which children can get jabbed?

In addition:

  • all 12 to 15-year-olds are offered two doses of Pfizer
  • all 16 and 17-year-olds can have a booster, three months after their second jab
  • 12 to 15-year-olds in an at-risk group, or who live with someone with a weakened immune system, can have a booster

How do I book my Covid vaccine?

You can book jabs online, or go to a walk-in clinic, although not all centres offer jabs to under-12s, and some have closed since the initial vaccination push.

Image source, Getty Images

You should leave eight weeks between your first and second doses, and wait a further 12 weeks before a booster.

  • In England: You can book online, by calling 119, or visiting a walk-in clinic
  • In Scotland: Over-16s can register for their first dose or book their second or booster dose online, or by calling 0800 030 8013
  • In Wales: Over-16s will be invited for their booster. If you’ve not been invited – or you’ve not had your first two doses – you can contact your health board
  • In Northern Ireland: Appointments for over-5s can be made online or by calling 0300 200 7813

Carers of five to 11-year-olds in Scotland and Wales should wait to be offered an appointment.

Booking isn’t yet open for the autumn booster programme.

What vaccine will I get?

Drug companies have been updating their vaccines to tackle newer Covid variants, but it’s not yet clear which will be used for the autumn boosters.

First and second doses are either AstraZeneca or (for under-40s) Pfizer or Moderna.

So far, boosters have been a single dose of either Pfizer or Moderna – regardless of which vaccine you received previously.

However, if you cannot have Pfizer or Moderna for medical reasons, you can have a booster dose of AstraZeneca.

Two other vaccines have also been approved for use in the UK – Janssen and Novavax, but these haven’t been given to UK patients.

What are the side effects?

They are part of the body’s normal immune response to vaccines and tend to resolve within a day or two.

Media caption,

Why it is normal for some people to experience short-term side effects from Covid-19 vaccines

You should discuss any existing serious allergies with your healthcare professional before being vaccinated.

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