Booster jabs now offered without appointments in England

1 November 2021, 00:01

Sadiq Khan has urged Londoners to get their booster as soon as they are eligible
Sadiq Khan has urged Londoners to get their booster as soon as they are eligible. Picture: Alamy

By Elizabeth Haigh

Booster jabs are now being offered without appointments in England to anyone eligible who had their second dose more than six months ago.

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Walk-in vaccination sites will offer the Covid boosters as part of the NHS strategy to increase jab uptake ahead of a tough winter.

Those who are eligible for a booster vaccine are those aged 50 and over, those who live or work in care homes, frontline health workers and those aged 16 and over who have - or care for someone who has - a health condition which puts them at high risk of getting seriously ill from Covid-19.

There has been speculation that the NHS faces a particularly difficult winter due to the prevalence of Covid as well as other cold and flu viruses.

People are advised to use the NHS walk-in finder online to locate their nearest walk-in site.

The website now shows who can get vaccinated at each site and whether it is offering boosters.

Read more: Ambulance service in England declares critical incident amid 'extreme pressures'

NHS England said almost everyone in England lives within 10 miles of a vaccination site.

Among those to have received their booster is London Mayor Sadiq Khan, who was pictured receiving both his flu jab and Covid booster on October 29.

He tweeted urging Londoners to get their booster, saying his "won’t just protect me, but also my loved ones and the whole community".

Dr Nikki Kanani, GP and deputy lead for the NHS Covid-19 vaccination programme, said: "NHS staff are making it as easy as possible for people to get their top-up vaccination, and from today people can now go online, find their nearest site and go and get their booster without delay.

"The booster is not just nice to have, it is really important protection ahead of what we know will be a challenging winter.

"So if you are eligible, please do check the site finder and go get your jab."

According to figures from NHS England more than six million people have received a booster vaccine or third dose.

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Third doses are being given to people with severely weakened immune systems.

As of October 31 a further 74 people died within 28 days of a positive coronavirus test. There were also a further 38,009 reported cases.

Meanwhile, ambulance trusts have warned of "critical pressures" this week, appealing for the public to only call 999 in emergency situations.

Ambulance leaders have described the "highest level of emergency activity in history" and reports from around the country paint a bleak picture of ambulances queuing for hours outside busy hospitals.