People aged 30 and over will be able to book an appointment for their life-saving COVID-19 booster jab from tomorrow (Monday 13 December) as the NHS vaccine programme extends once again.
The national booking system will open to everyone aged 30 to 39 so that they can arrange a top-up three months on from their second dose.
With around 7.5 million people aged 30 to 39 – of which 3.5 million are eligible from tomorrow – the change following updated advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation means that millions more people will be able to book their booster.
The booking can be made two months on from their second dose – a month in advance of becoming eligible to receive the jab.
This latest move means that the online booking system has opened to an extra 10 million people in seven days.
The rollout has been accelerated in the face of the Omicron variant, with data from UKHSA suggesting that booster doses give good protection against the new variant.
Dr Emily Lawson, head of the NHS COVID-19 Vaccination Programme, said: “Following the updated guidance from the JCVI, which shortened the interval between second and booster doses, NHS staff are redoubling their efforts to protect the public from the virus.
“The NHS vaccination programme, the biggest and most successful in health service history, will from tomorrow offer top up jabs to everyone aged 30 and over three months from their second jab.
“With the emergence of the new variant and the rising case numbers, there has never been a more important time to get boosted. So when it’s your turn, come forward and book in.
“The vaccine programme has been designed an delivered by NHS staff but it could not have been rolled out so quickly without the support of our fabulous volunteers.
“So if you are interesting in helping us, we have roles available – from marshalling car parks as a volunteer or taking on a paid role in admin or as a vaccinator, please do look at the opportunities available. You would be helping us to save lives”.
Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid said: “The COVID-19 booster programme is accelerating rapidly and more than 22 million people in the UK have already received their top-up, securing vital protection ahead of Christmas.
“This is our national mission – the most recent data shows boosters are the essential defence against Omicron and we are doing everything in our power to get jabs into arms as quickly as possible.
“We are now expanding the offer to over-30s – so please come forward as quickly as possible to get boosted and help our country get ahead in this race with the variant”.
Vaccines Minister Maggie Throup said: “Booster vaccines are the best way to protect yourself and your loved ones from this virus and new variants.
“Please do not delay – if you are aged 30 and over, get your jabs as soon as you can to top-up your immunity this winter”.
On Wednesday the NHS COVID vaccination programme opened to almost 7 million more people in their forties who would previously have had to wait six months for a top-up.
The expansion came exactly 12 months after the NHS made history by delivering the first Pfizer jab outside of a clinical trial.
Since then NHS staff have delivered more than 100 million COVID jabs, including more than 18 million boosters in England alone.
Earlier this week, the NHS also launched a campaign to recruit tens of thousands more vaccinators and volunteers to support the expansion of the programme, urging the public to sign up if they can help.
The NHS is inviting people most at risk from the virus first and is working through age groups in stages before opening up to other age groups, in line with JCVI guidance.
Every eligible adult should have an opportunity to book in for their booster jab by the end of January.
All eligible adults can book their life-saving booster jab two months (61 days) after their second dose using the NHS national booking system, getting their top-up in protection three months (91 days) on from their second dose following updated JCVI guidance. Details will be updated on the system throughout the day.
Hundreds of hospitals are already jabbing their staff and have now been asked to vaccinate other local NHS workers, eligible patients, and social care staff as well as the programme expands
Around 30 hospitals are already offering jabs to the public through the national booking service with more set to open.
There are almost 3,000 vaccination sites across the country – 1,300 more than in February, with an additional 300 pharmacies coming online in recent weeks as the programme enters the most complex stage of the rollout.
The NHS is asking people to keep checking for appointments once the system updates, as more become available every day.
People can get their vaccine by booking online through the National Booking Service or by calling 119, and GP practices are also inviting those who are eligible.