Omicron: When can I have a booster jab and how do I book one?

Booster numbers have hit record levels across the UK with more than 900,000 administered on Saturday.

Researchers say having a booster dose could provide about 85% protection against severe illness from the Omicron variant.

Source: BBC

When can I have a booster?

In England, some other medical appointments are being postponed.

Across the UK, opening hours at vaccination centres are being extended and more volunteers are being recruited.

The requirement to wait 15 minutes in the vaccination centre after a jab is also being scrapped, to allow more people to be seen.

Why do I need a booster?

What else do I need to know about the booster?

Your booster will be a single dose of either Pfizer or Moderna – regardless of which vaccine you received for your first two jabs.

If you have tested positive for Covid recently, you should wait four weeks (28 days) from the date of the test before having your booster.

You shouldn’t have the booster if you have a severe illness or high fever. However, patient information from Pfizer and Moderna says a mild fever or a cold are not reasons to delay.

The vaccines do not give you an infection, and they will not cause you to test positive on a lateral flow or PCR test.

Which children are being vaccinated?

All children aged 12 and over are being offered two doses of the Pfizer jab. They can have a second dose 12 weeks after the first

If a 16 or 17-year old tests positive for Covid, they should wait 12 weeks before being vaccinated, because of an extremely small risk of heart inflammation (four weeks for high risk groups).

No vaccine is currently approved for under-12s in the UK.

Is the Covid vaccine compulsory?

Not in the UK, although a number of European countries have tightened restrictions for the unvaccinated.

However, all frontline NHS staff in England (with some exceptions) must be fully vaccinated by 1 April.

 

What if I haven't had my first or second vaccine?

You can still book your first or second jab. You need to wait eight weeks between the first and second.

In particular, the government wants unvaccinated pregnant women to come forward.

What about side effects?

They are part of the body’s normal immune response to vaccines and tend to resolve within a day or two.

There are extremely rare, but occasionally fatal, cases of people developing blood clots after taking the AstraZeneca vaccine.

And a very small number of people have experienced a severe allergic reaction after the Pfizer vaccine.

You should discuss any existing serious allergies with your healthcare professional before being vaccinated.

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