Everything you need to know about the Covid-19 jab booster programme

14 September 2021, 12:22 | Updated: 14 September 2021, 17:03

By Asher McShane

The government has confirmed booster vaccines will be offered to people aged 50 and over, those in care homes and frontline health and social care workers, but how will the booster programme work?

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The UK's top medical experts have confirmed the programme will go ahead with a one-off jab to protect people from the virus this winter.

How will the programme work?

The three main jabs have been approved for use as a booster, Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca.

Experts have decided to prioritise using the Pfizer jab as the main booster as it proved to be the most effective as a 'top up' jab under testing.

The Pfizer jab as a booster can be given to people who had two doses of AstraZeneca previously.

The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine will be used as the booster dose for more than 30 million people.

Experts have said that it was safe to be given alongside the usual winter flu jab.

Who gets the booster first?

Booster vaccines will be offered to people aged 50 and over, those in care homes and frontline health and social care workers, the Government has announced.

All those who are clinically extremely vulnerable and anyone aged 16 to 65 in an at-risk group group for Covid (who were in priority groups one to nine during the initial vaccine rollout) will also be eligible for a jab.

When there is more data, experts plan to look at whether boosters should also be offered to healthy people under the age of 50.

The first groups to receive it will be:

  • Older adults in residential homes
  • Front-line healthcare and social care workers
  • All adults ages 50 and over
  • All those aged 16 to 49 with underlying health conditions
  • Adult household contacts of immunosupressed individuals

When will people start getting their third jabs?

People should receive their third booster dose at least six months after they received their second dose of a Covid vaccine.

Sajid Javid confirmed the NHS was preparing to begin the rollout of the Covid-19 booster programme from next week.

Professor Jonathan Van-Tam said when the government gives it the green light "it will be full speed ahead on this but in a purposeful way rather than a rushed way."