Covid -19 Booster FAQ
Who will get a Covid-19 booster vaccine?
Everyone over 50 or who has a health condition that puts them at higher risk from Covid-19 will be offered a booster.
When will I get a booster vaccine?
If you are eligible, you’ll be invited to get a booster vaccine when it is your turn via your mobile phone or your practice , this must be at least six months after your second dose. The booster programme has now started and will continue till the end of November.
Boosters will be given in the same order of priority as for the initial vaccine, as follows:
- Care home residents and staff
- People aged 80 and over, and frontline health and social care workers
- People aged 75 and over
- People aged 70 and over, and adults who are clinically extremely vulnerable
- People aged 65 and over
- Adults who are at higher risk from Covid-19, including people with heart and circulatory conditions
- People aged 60 and over
- People aged 55 and over
- People aged 50 and over
Why might I need a booster vaccine?
The booster vaccines are being recommended in order to give longer-lasting protection. There is some evidence, particularly in the case of the Pfizer vaccine, that it protection declines over time and has started to decline within six months from the second dose. Because the vaccine has not yet been available for long enough, there are no large studies of effectiveness beyond six months from the second dose.
A booster dose will help to ensure those at higher risk from coronavirus, who were prioritised at the start of the vaccine programme, have enough protection going into winter.
We know that as coronavirus spreads and mutates, it can start to resist vaccines. A booster programme could offer extra protection against variants that have resistance to existing vaccines.
What about people who have a weakened immune response?
The JCVI and UK government have recommended that everyone over 12 with a severely weakened immune system is offered a third dose of the Covid-19 vaccine, which is separate from the booster programme.
A THIRD dose is being offered to people whose immune systems do not work properly or who are taking immune suppressant medication – including people who have had a heart transplant or are on certain types of steroid medication. The NHS is contacting people who are eligible for a third dose of the vaccine to arrange an appointment as soon as possible if they haven’t already had their third dose.
The JCVI have said that this recommendation is an update to the standard dosing schedule for people in this at-risk group, and that they will also be offered a booster vaccine at a later date. Please read the official government advice for people who are eligible for a third dose
Which vaccine will be used for the boosters?
The Pfizer vaccine or the Moderna vaccine are the currently the vaccines offered for booster and Third doses doses, as evidence shows that this type of vaccine will work well as a booster.
The Pfizer, Moderna and Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccines have all been approved for use as booster jabs by the UK medicines regulator, the MHRA. The Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine has only been approved as a booster in exceptional cases for use in people who had it as their first and second vaccine.
More research is currently under way to look at other options for use as Covid-19 booster vaccines.
Where can I get a booster vaccine?
The booster vaccine will be given under Healthsense PCN at Byron Hall in Harrow and invitation to book the vaccines are being sent to eligible patients via their mobile telephone numbers or by a Healthsense Practice if you do not have a mobile phone. If you have received an invitation on your mobile phone and can't book your appointment on line please contact your Healthsense GP surgery and ask their help to book an appointment. Please wait for your invitation before contacting the surgery however as appointments cannot be made before.
What is happening for 12-15 year olds, will they be getting a vaccine?
12-15 year olds without significant health conditions (and therefore who have not yet been invited) will be vaccinated within the school setting. Your child’s school will be in contact with parents and carers in the near future to let you know when this will be offered.
When will I get my Flu Vaccine?
All eligible patients will be offered the flu vaccine at the same time as their Booster or Third Dose Covid vaccine at Byron Hall. If we do not have sufficient Flu vaccines at the time, patients may be asked to get their Flu injections at their surgeries. The flu vaccine can be taken at any time before or after their COVID 19 vaccine.