Covid booster jabs extended to over 30s as NHS steps up fight against Omicron

12 December 2021, 07:50

Over 30s in England can now book their vaccine booster
Over 30s in England can now book their vaccine booster. Picture: Alamy

By Will Taylor

Anyone aged 30 and older in England can book their Covid booster jab from Monday, as medics look to ramp up jabs to fight the Omicron variant.

Experts worry its mutations could erode some of the protection provided by vaccines but they are still seen as the best way of preventing serious illness from infection.

People become eligible if they are old enough and had their second dose more than two months ago.

The addition of over-30s to the programme comes as NHS England accelerates its booster rollout while experts worry about Omicron's ability to spread and infect people who've gained some protection from it.

Ahead of Christmas – and after Plan B measures saw the Government expand the use of face masks and introduce the need for a negative test or the NHS Covid app for certain events – more than 22 million have had their booster.

Read more: Boosters urged as scientists warn UK faces 'substantial' Omicron wave in New Year

Read more: Boris Johnson faces biggest Tory rebellion yet over Covid rules

Health Secretary Sajid Javid said: "This is our national mission - the most recent data shows boosters are the essential defence against Omicron and we are doing everything in our power to get jabs into arms as quickly as possible.

"We are now expanding the offer to over-30s - so please come forward as quickly as possible to get boosted and help our country get ahead in this race with the variant."

About 3.5 million of the 7.5 million people aged 30 to 39 will be eligible from Monday.

There are fears the UK could see a huge wave of Omicron infections in the New Year, with experts who advise the Government warning tougher restrictions may be needed next year to stop a steep rise in infections.

Experts from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine warned between 25,000 to 75,000 deaths could happen in England over five months.

Dr Emily Lawson, the head of the NHS Covid-19 vaccination programme, said: "Following the updated guidance from the JCVI, which shortened the interval between second and booster doses, NHS staff are redoubling their efforts to protect the public from the virus.

"The NHS vaccination programme, the biggest and most successful in health service history, will from tomorrow offer top-up jabs to everyone aged 30 and over three months from their second jab.

"With the emergence of the new variant and the rising case numbers, there has never been a more important time to get boosted. So, when it's your turn, come forward and book in.

"The vaccine programme has been designed and delivered by NHS staff but it could not have been rolled out so quickly without the support of our fabulous volunteers.

"So, if you are interested in helping us, we have roles available - from marshalling car parks as a volunteer or taking on a paid role in admin or as a vaccinator, please do look at the opportunities available. You would be helping us to save lives."

Visit the NHS website to book a booster vaccine.