Over 1.6 million people will be eligible to book their COVID booster jabs from next week

From next week all those eligible and waiting will finally be able to book their COVID booster jab appointments.

Over 1,600,000 UK residents will be able to book their COVID booster shots from next week.

Currently, booster shots are open for all those immunocompromised or otherwise vulnerable to the virus, as well as those over the age of 50, frontline health and social care workers and those who work in retirement homes.

The groups of those eligible for boosters won’t be changing. Still, many people in the outlined categories will be reaching the six-month mark since their second dose, opening them up for eligibility.

Booster wait times reduced for some eligible groups

Additionally, in an effort to bolster COVID protection over the winter months, some of those vulnerable or working in care homes will be allowed to get their booster vaccinations a month early to coincide with flu jabs.

For all those receiving immunosuppressant treatments, the wait would be further reduced to four months.

These reduced booster wait times were announced last week by health Secretary Sajid Javid, who explained that the move will provide ‘the necessary flexibility in the booster programme, allowing more vulnerable people to be vaccinated where it makes operational sense to do so.’

Last week, it was also announced that those eligible can book their booster jabs on the online booking service, even if they have yet to be contacted by the NHS or their GPs.

Over 9.5 million booster jabs already administered

Over 9.5 million booster jabs have already been administered in England, with six million receiving their shots within the first six weeks of the rollout.

More than half of those over 50 have already gone for their third dose, while two-thirds of those over 80 have also opted for a booster.

A record-breaking 800,000 boosters were also administered last weekend, with Saturday the 23rd being the biggest day yet with 325,140 shots given.

Dr Nikki Kanani, the Deputy leader of the NHS vaccination programme, said: ‘It is encouraging to see that thanks to the efforts of NHS staff, millions of people have received their booster already and just over six weeks in, with over half of eligible over 50s already protected as we head into winter like no other.

I’ve recently had my booster at a local pharmacy and with more people becoming eligible every day I would encourage anyone who receives their text or letter invite to book an appointment and get their potentially life-saving top-up jab as soon as they can.

‘The vaccine is simple, quick and effective and will help us to give the country maximum protection from the virus.’

COVID: UK to roll out booster jabs next week, AstraZeneca will not be offered COVID: UK to roll out booster jabs next week, AstraZeneca will not be offered