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Covid booster vaccine: 1.5 million to get texted – are you eligible?

Fitness & Health:

Over one million people will be invited to receive a booster coronavirus jab this week, the NHS has said. Across five priority groups, almost five million Brits will be called up to get the booster over the coming weeks. Invitations to book a third ‘booster’ Covid jab are being sent to the first 1.5 million people this week. If you’re wondering when you’ll get yours, Express.co.uk has the explainer on booster jabs.

If you are eligible for the Covid booster jab, the NHS have said to wait to be contacted.

The NHS guidance says: “People will get a call or text from their local GP-led site to get the jab, or will be invited by the National Booking Service, which will start issuing invitations from next week.”

Hospital hubs have already started vaccinating frontline staff.

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Health and social care staff can book their third jab through their employer.

Dr Nikki Kanani, GP and Deputy Lead for the COVID-19 Vaccination Programme said: “There is no need to contact the NHS – we will be in touch with you when it is your turn to get your booster vaccine – at least six months on since your last dose.

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“The fast preparations of staff to get ready for boosters comes on the back of our biggest vaccination drive in health history which has delivered more than 77 million vaccinations across the country.

“Getting the vaccine remains the best way to protect yourself and those around you from COVID – so please do come forward for this top up of protection when you are invited”.

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Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid added: “We know vaccines save lives and with every jab our wall of defence across the country gets higher, with more than 112,300 lives saved and over 24 million cases prevented in England alone.”

How do I know if I’m eligible for the Covid booster?

The NHS says they will be inviting 4.5 million people to get their third dose of the vaccine over the coming weeks.

The first priority for the NHS will be vaccinating care home residents and those who work there.

In a statement, the NHS says: “Local NHS areas will be prioritising care home residents and staff ensuring they are offered a vaccine by the beginning of November.”

What vaccine will I be given?

In line with advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), people will receive either one dose of the Pfizer vaccine or half a dose of the Moderna vaccine.

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For those who can’t have Pfizer or Moderna, they will be given AstraZeneca.

Why do I need a booster coronavirus vaccine?

Booster vaccines are recommended to give people longer-lasting protection against coronavirus as we go into the winter.

Research is still establishing how long the protection from coronavirus vaccines lasts, but so far there is evidence to suggest it declines over time, particularly in the case of Pfizer.

In a report by the JCVI, they write: “Seasonal influenza and SARS-CoV-2 viruses have the potential to add substantially to the ‘winter pressures’ usually faced by the NHS, particularly if infection waves from both viruses coincide.”

In their report, the JCVI notes this will be the first winter where social mixing has ‘returned to pre-pandemic norms’, giving respiratory viruses more opportunity to spread.

In order to avoid the NHS becoming overwhelmed by Covid and flu season, the JCVI recommended taking every precaution.

Can I have both the covid vaccine and flu vaccine?

Many people who are being invited to get their third dose are also eligible for the flu vaccine, or might be considering arranging one through their pharmacy, ahead of the winter flu season.

The NHS reassures it’s safe to have both vaccines at the same time, or appointments close together.

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