Millions invited for COVID-19 booster jabs in England and Scotland
Health experts are encouraging those eligible to receive their autumn jab
Millions of people have been invited for their autumn COVID-19 booster jab in England and Scotland as of Monday 5 September, and care home residents will be the first to receive this vaccine.
Health officials are predicting a spike in COVID-19 and flu cases this autumn and winter, and are urging those eligible to receive vaccines for both, to ensure maximum protection against severe disease.
The UK’s MHRA announced on Saturday 3 September that it had approved a second “bivalent” COVID-19 vaccine from Pfizer/ BioNTech, for people aged 12 and over.
However, there is not enough of Moderna’s “bivalent vaccine” to protect everyone aged over 50, so health experts say that people should take whichever booster they are offered. These vaccines will also be used in the spring.
The groups who qualify for an autumn booster are adults aged 50 and over, people aged 5 to 49 with health conditions that put them at higher risk – including pregnant women, care home staff, frontline health and social care workers, carers aged 16 to 49 – and household contacts of people with weakened immune systems.
Wales has already started offering COVID-19 boosters to care home residents and staff. In Northern Ireland, the vaccine rollout began on 19 September, targeting the same groups.
NHS England CEO Amanda Pritchard called on people "to get the newly approved, next generation COVID-19 vaccine when invited to do so, as well as your annual flu jab, to ensure you have maximum protection".