More than one million people in England to get Covid booster jab invite from Monday

19 September 2021, 00:01 | Updated: 19 September 2021, 00:16

Over 50s will be prioritised for the booster jab.
Over 50s will be prioritised for the booster jab. Picture: Alamy

By Emma Soteriou

Over a million people in England will be sent invitations this week to book their coronavirus booster jab.

Those being prioritised for the booster are: over 50s, people living and working in care homes, and frontline health and social care workers.

Anyone aged 16 to 65 in an at-risk group for Covid and those who are considered clinically extremely vulnerable will also be eligible.

It comes amid concerns of what is expected to be a particularly bad flu season this winter, with the NHS expected to be under added strain.

In total, some 1.5 million people will be contacted via text or letter to begin with, encouraging use of the National Booking Service.

Issuing guidance earlier in the week, the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) said people should receive their booster at least six months after they received their second dose, with Pfizer being a preference regardless of which jab was initially given.

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

Read more: Covid winter plan: Over-50s 'to be offered booster jab by Christmas'

Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid said the boosters will "strengthen the wall of defence" created by the vaccines.

"It is excellent that getting your booster jab has now become even easier thanks to the opening of the National Booking Service to those eligible," he said.

"Booster doses are an important way of keeping the virus under control for the long term and will protect the most vulnerable through the winter months.

"I urge everyone who receives a letter or text to get their jab as soon as possible so we can strengthen the wall of defence across the country that each vaccine brings."

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Dr Nikki Kanani, GP and deputy lead for the Covid vaccination programme, said: "The NHS Covid vaccination programme has already prevented 24 million cases and saved more than 112,000 lives.

"As we head into winter we should not drop our guard so I would urge everyone to come forward and get a booster vaccination when they are invited.

"Getting a top-up vaccine is the best way to protect yourself and your loved ones from this cruel virus."

Millions more invitations are set to be issued over coming weeks, NHS England said.

The campaign for booster jabs officially began on Thursday, with hospital hubs having begun jabbing frontline health and care workers.