Will I get a Covid vaccine in 2023? Who’s eligible for another booster in winter and how to book the jab

People at higher risk of serious disease from Covid should be offered a booster dose of the vaccine this autumn, officials have recommended.

Those in older age groups and the clinically vulnerable are likely to be given what would be their sixth dose of a Covid vaccine, ahead of expected further waves of the virus next winter.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) is meeting today to decide on which exact age groups will be offered the autumn 2023 course.

A smaller, more targeted group of people who are extremely clinically vulnerable will also be offered a booster shot this spring in addition to an autumn jab.

The JCVI has also recommended that people aged 16-49 who are not at clinical risk from Covid should no longer need a vaccine. Those in this age group who have had two doses of a vaccine are still eligible for a third under the autumn 2021 booster programme, but that offer will close on 12 February.

More on Covid-19

Anyone under 50 who still wants a third dose is urged to make an appointment before that date.

As the cold snap continues, many people are struggling with cold and flu symptoms.

And it’s not always easy to tell the difference between the flu and Covid, with both viruses having many symptoms in common, such as a headache, sore throat, fever, fatigue, a shortness of breath and muscle aches.

However, it’s unusual for the flu to cause a loss or change to your sense of taste and smell, which can happen with Covid-19.

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In December, theGgovernment announced it would stop publishing Covid data from early January.

Data on the disease, including the R rate, which refers to the number of people an infected person will pass the virus on to, is no longer being published by the UK Health Security Agency, with experts stating that the UK is now “living with the virus” three years on from it first being detected.

Chief data scientist Dr Nick Watkins said releasing this specific data is “’no longer necessary” thanks to vaccines and therapeutics.

Despite this, the disease has not disappeared and continues to affect people throughout the UK.

Particular groups may be more worried about contracting Covid than others, including older people, people working in healthcare, and those with compromised immunity.

But are you eligible for a seasonal booster jab and, if so, how can you book it? Here’s everything you need to know.

Can I get another Covid vaccine?

More than 18.5 million people across the UK have had a seasonal Covid booster jab.

However, a seasonal booster isn’t available for everyone.

The NHS states that you do not need another booster if you got your last dose on or after 5 September, 2022.

Only those eligible from the list below are entitled to a seasonal booster jab:

  • people aged 50 and over
  • those aged five to 49 with health conditions that put them at higher risk, including pregnant women
  • care-home staff
  • front-line health and social-care workers
  • carers aged 16 to 49
  • household contacts of people with weakened immune systems

If your NHS record shows you’re at high risk from Covid, you should already have been invited for a seasonal booster jab.

If you’re not sure, it’s worth contacting your GP for more information or, if you live in a care home, your care home manager.

When can I get a seasonal booster?

According to the NHS, you can have your seasonal booster if it’s been at least three months since you had your previous dose.

If you have not had a first or second dose of the Covid-19 vaccine yet, you should have them as soon as possible.

You should leave eight weeks between your first and second dose, and at least 12 weeks before having a booster.

If you have a severely weakened immune system you should get an additional primary dose before you get a booster.

How can I book my seasonal booster jab?

England: You can book all doses online, by calling 119, or you can visit a walk-in clinic (some don’t offer jabs to under-12s)

Scotland: Over-16s can register for their first dose and book second or booster doses online, or by calling 0800 030 8013

Wales: Over-16s will be invited for their booster. If you haven’t been invited – or you haven’t had your first two doses – you can contact your health board. You can change or cancel existing appointments online

Northern Ireland: All doses can be booked online or by calling 0300 200 7813

I think I’ve had Covid. How long should I wait before getting a booster or jab?

According to the NHS, you should wait:

  • Four weeks (28 days) if you’re aged 18 or over
  • 12 weeks (84 days) if you or your child are aged five to 17
  • Four weeks (28 days) if you or your child are aged five to 17 and at high risk from Covid-19, or live with someone who has a weakened immune system

This starts from the date your symptoms started or from the date of a positive test, whichever was earlier.

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