Covid autumn booster vaccine: Who is eligible and when will it roll out?

The booster campaign will be available to certain groups from next month (Picture: Joe Raedle / Getty)

The autumn Covid-19 booster vaccine campaign will begin next month with jabs offered to vulnerable groups.

A ‘next generation’ coronavirus jab – which would only need administering once a year – was approved for use in adults earlier this month.

Coronavirus vaccines have prevented up to 20 million deaths in their first year of use, experts say.

But who will be eligible for the autumn booster and how can you book it?

Here’s what you need to know.

Who is eligible for the autumn booster jab?

If you are aged 50 or older, a resident in care homes for older people, aged five years and over in a clinical risk group, or health, or social care staff, you will be offered the Covid-19 autumn booster jab.

The booster comes as Covid-19 and flu cases are expected to rise over winter (Picture: Sean Rayford / Getty)

This is because the virus is more serious in older people and in people with certain underlying health conditions.

The Government website additionally says: ‘This winter it is expected that many respiratory infections, including Covid-19 and flu, may be circulating at high levels – this may put increasing pressure on hospitals and other health care services.’

If you test positive for Covid-19, you should ideally wait four weeks before having your autumn booster and you should not attend your appointment if you are self-isolating or waiting on a Covid-19 test.

When will the booster jab be rolled out?

If you’re eligible for the booster, you should be offered an appointment between September and December, with those at highest risk being called in first.

You should have your booster at least three months after your last dose of vaccine.

The free flu jab is also being offered to some people this autumn, and they will be offered it at the same time as their Covid-19 booster.

How to book the booster jab

The NHS website says people will start receiving their invites shortly, with details on how to book.

Those that can receive the vaccine will be invited to book (Picture: Getty)

Eligible people will receive an invite via SMS, email, and letter to book their booster, which will be available via the National Booking Service.

You can book Covid-19 jabs online, or by phoning 119.

You can also go to a walk-in clinic, though not all centres offer jabs to under-12s.

Which vaccine will you be offered?

Those that receive the booster will be given a dose of a vaccine made by Pfizer or Moderna.

You may be offered an updated combination version of these booster vaccines which include a half-dose of the previous vaccine combined with a half-dose of a vaccine against the Omicron variant.

The UK is the first country to approve the dual vaccine.

A statement on the Government website reads: ‘As we cannot predict which variants of COVID-19 will be circulating this winter, the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has concluded that both types of vaccine can be used in adults and that no one should delay vaccination to receive combination vaccines.

‘So you will be offered the right vaccine for you at the right time.’

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