COVID booster vaccine: Who is eligible for the autumn jab?

·Freelance Writer
·3-min read
People aged 50 and over have been invited to come forward for their next COVID vaccine booster. (PA)
People aged 50 and over have been invited to come forward for their next COVID vaccine booster. (PA)

The campaign to provide an autumn COVID booster jab is under way, with the government inviting all those eligible to come forward.

COVID infections in the UK have fallen to their lowest level for two months and health officials are hoping a fresh round of jabs will help protect against a potential future wave in autumn and winter.

More than 126 million COVID vaccines have so far been administered in England, while about 26 million people across the country will be eligible to get an autumn booster from the NHS.

People over 50 are eligible for the COVID autumn booster. (PA)
People over 50 are eligible for the COVID autumn booster. (PA)

Who is eligible for a COVID booster vaccine?

Anyone aged 50 and over have been invited to come forward for their next COVID vaccine booster.

Residents in care homes, and children aged five years and over in clinical risk groups are also being offered the autumn jab.

Front-line health and social care staff, those who care for vulnerable individuals and families of individuals with weakened immune systems are also eligible, while those at high risk of complications from COVID and who have not been boosted are urged to come forward.

Deaths involving Covid-19 in England & Wales
Deaths involving Covid-19 in England & Wales

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How to book a COVID booster jab

In England, over-75s and people susceptible to serious illness will be invited first to choose an appointment.

You will not need to contact the NHS as they will invite you when you are eligible.

Appointments to get the jab can be made via the NHS National Booking Service website in England and NHS sites in Scotland and Wales and Northern Ireland Direct in Northern Ireland.

People can book a COVID booster via the NHS website. (PA)
People can book a COVID booster via the NHS website. (PA)

When can you book a COVID booster jab?

The autumn booster will be offered from 5 September in England and Scotland.

Specific dates have so far not been announced for Wales and Northern Ireland, but it is expected to be offered at the same time as in England and Scotland.

NHS staff will first begin vaccinating care home residents and people who are housebound, while a national booking service will also open that week ahead of the wider rollout, that is due to start on 12 September.

COVID figures

High levels of coronavirus antibodies among the population – either from vaccination or previous infection – mean the number of people seriously ill or dying from the virus this year remains low.

Recent figures show the number of patients in hospital with COVID is falling, though health experts warned infections are likely to rise again in the autumn and winter.

A total of 1.7 million people in private households are estimated to have had COVID in the week to 8 August, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

COVID infections in the UK have fallen to their lowest level for two months. (PA)
COVID infections in the UK have fallen to their lowest level for two months. (PA)

This is a drop of 34% from the previous estimate of 2.6 million for the week ending 26 July.

Some 1.4 million people in England were likely to have tested positive for COVID in the most recent week of the survey, the equivalent of around one in 40, the ONS said.

This is down from 2.1 million, or one in 25, in late July.

Infection rates are highest among 50 to 69-year-olds, where 3% were likely to test positive for COVID in the most recent week, or around one in 35 people.

Rates are lowest among young children between the age of two and school year 6, at 1.6% – the equivalent of one in 65.