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Booster COVID-19 vaccinations

Latest guidance on the Covid booster programme

Spring Booster programme

The Spring Booster programme commenced on March 21 2022 for those who are 75+ and those aged 12+ who are Immunosuppressed.

Appointments for the Spring Booster must be made on the National Booking Service, they are not available at walk-in centres. Find out more about the Spring Booster programme here.

 

The COVID-19 booster programme

The COVID-19 booster programme is the rollout of an additional vaccine dose to people who have previously received two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine to ensure continued protection for those most at risk from COVID-19.

Covid-19 booster jabs are being offered to eligible patients across the UK in line with national and JCVI guidance. 

You can get a booster dose if you had a 2nd dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at least 3 months ago and:

  • you are aged 16 or over
  • you are aged 16 or over with a health condition that puts you at high risk of getting seriously ill from COVID-19
  • you are a frontline health or social care worker
  • you live or work in a care home
  • you are aged 16 or over and are a main carer for someone at high risk from COVID-19
  • you are aged 16 or over and live with someone who has a weakened immune system (such as someone who has HIV, has had a transplant or is having certain treatments for cancer, lupus or rheumatoid arthritis)

People who are pregnant and in one of the eligible groups can also get a booster dose.

Eligible patients can:

COVID-19 boosters are required because there are some signs that protection offered by the vaccine may start dropping off several months after the second dose - with the most vulnerable groups most at risk of this reduction in protection.

Following recent changes to the guidance in response to the threat of the Omicron variant, the COVID-19 booster can now be administered within three months (91days) after your second dose (not before). 

It has been recommended that people will have the Pfizer or a half dose of the Moderna vaccine for their COVID-19 booster, even if they had a different vaccine previously.

We need as many people as possible double-vaccinated and having received a COVID-19 booster as we go into winter to avoid serious illness and hospitalisations as the weather turns colder. The NHS is always under additional pressure during the autumn and winter as respiratory infections take hold. Reducing COVID-19 related hospital admissions will help the NHS cope better during the winter months and reduce disruption to routine and planned care.

We are asking people to make an appointment / attend for their COVID-19 booster vaccine as soon as they are eligible / invited to do so.

The COVID-19 Booster vaccine can be given alongside the flu vaccination BUT you may not get your booster and flu jab at the same appointment. You may have to attend two different appointments for these vaccinations. The flu vaccination programme protects people from serious complications from getting flu, so we would also encourage people that are eligible for a COVID-19 booster to also have their flu vaccination. More information on the flu vaccination is at www.nhs.uk/flujab

For information on the Spring Booster programme and fourth dose boosters for immunocompromised patients or booster vaccines for housebound patients click here.

 

Common questions

Is there anyone that shouldn’t have the COVID-19 booster vaccine?

There are very few people in the eligible groups who should not have a booster.  If you have had a severe reaction to a previous dose of the vaccine you should discuss this with your doctor.

If I’m eligible, when and where can I get my vaccination?

The JCVI advises that the booster vaccine dose should be offered no earlier than three months after having the second dose of the vaccination.

People will be offered the vaccine through a range of services. You may be invited to get a booster through a GP-led service and/or be contacted by the NHS to book an appointment at a designated pharmacy, vaccination centre or GP-led service through the national COVID-19 vaccination booking service (NBS). You can also check if there are walk in opportunities local to you here:  https://apps.norfolk.gov.uk/WalkIn/

When and how will health and care staff get a COVID-19 booster?

Primary care teams will vaccinate care home staff and residents.

Health and care workers and social care staff can book via the national COVID-19 vaccination booking service (NBS) or walk in to ANY vaccination site without an appointment.  Check here for advertised walk in clinics: https://apps.norfolk.gov.uk/WalkIn/

What type of vaccine will the COVID-19 booster be? What if it’s different to the one I have had?

After reviewing data on booster responses from different combinations of COVID-19 vaccines, JCVI advises a preference for mRNA vaccines eg. Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna irrespective of which type of vaccine was used for the first and second doses. Like the previous doses, the vaccine will be given in your upper arm.

There is good evidence that the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is well tolerated as a booster dose and will provide a strong booster response.

Where mRNA vaccines cannot be offered e.g. due to contraindication, vaccination with the AstraZeneca vaccine may be considered for those who received AstraZeneca vaccine in the primary course.

Can you still catch COVID-19 after having the vaccine?

The COVID-19 vaccination will reduce the chance of you suffering from COVID-19 related disease. It may take a few days for your body to build up some protection from the booster. Some people may still get COVID-19 despite having a vaccination, but the symptoms should be less severe.

Can I get the flu and COVID-19 booster vaccine at the same time?

The COVID-19 booster and the flu vaccine can be given on the same day and, for people that are eligible for both, there may be opportunities to have both together. We would encourage you to get your vaccinations as soon as possible and get fully protected rather than waiting as it may not always be possible to get them together.

I haven’t yet had the COVID-19 vaccination, can I still get my first jabs?

Everyone that is eligible that hasn’t already had their first or second COVID-19 vaccination can still get vaccinated.

Everyone aged 12 and over can book their initial COVID-19 vaccinations through the NHS booking service (call 119 free of charge, anytime between 7am and 11pm seven days a week) or go to walk in clinic – search the list for available walk-in opportunities here.

Please do not contact your GP practice (local doctor).

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