Have you had your Covid-19 booster jab yet?
Make sure that you join them as soon as you get your invitation – so long as it’s six months (182 days) since your second primary dose.
Here are some of the most commonly asked questions about the Covid-19 booster jab.
Why do I need a third jab – aren’t two vaccinations enough?
Although there is good evidence that a double dose of Coivd-19 vaccine provides protection against severe disease for the majority, the vaccine’s effectiveness may start to wane over time.
It is important to ensure that the protection that those eligible for the booster jab have built up does not decline during the winter months – particularly given there are two viruses circulating this winter. A booster will provide that extra security.
Why did I get an invite when my friends and neighbours didn’t?
As with the initial vaccination roll out, we are targeting the people most likely to be vulnerable to Covid-19 first. The Covid-19 booster vaccine programme includes individuals who are most at risk from Covid-19 and who have already had 2 doses of a vaccine. This includes:
- people aged 50 and over
- people who live and work in care homes
- frontline health and social care workers
- people aged 16 and over with a health condition that puts them at high risk of getting seriously ill from Covid-19
- carers aged 16 and over
- people aged 16 and over who live with someone who is more likely to get infections (such as someone who has HIV, has had a transplant or is having certain treatments for cancer, lupus or rheumatoid arthritis)
Which Covid-19 vaccine will I get?
Most people will be offered a booster dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine or Moderna vaccine. This means your booster dose may be different from the vaccines you had for your first and second doses.
When and where will I get my booster dose?
If you are eligible, you’ll be offered a booster dose at least six months after you had your second dose. The NHS will let you know when it’s your turn to have a booster dose. It’s important not to contact the NHS for one before then.
Can I just turn up at a walk-in centre and ask for a booster?
In south west London, as well as booking online people can now walk in for their booster jab at various sites if they are eligible. More details can be found here.
In order to manage demand at our larger vaccination centres, pharmacies, or local NHS services such as a GP surgery, please wait for your invitationto book an appointment at these sites. Frontline health and social care workers will be invited to book an appointment through their employer.
Are there any side effects with the booster?
There may be a few mild side effects – the same as you might have experienced with your initial doses. These are:
- numbness and tenderness in the arm where you had your injection – this tends to be worst around one to two days after the vaccine
- feeling tired
- a headache
- general aches, or mild flu-like symptoms.
Can I get the flu vaccination and Covid-19 booster together?
If you are offered both vaccines, it’s safe to have them at the same time. This will be offered during visits to people who are housebound and eligible and in care homes. Many patients who are eligible for a Covid-19 booster will also be eligible for a free flu jab.
Why are some people being given third doses just a couple of months after their second vaccination?
Some people are invited for a third jab if they are severely at risk, eight weeks after their second dose. Generally, these are people with severely compromised immune systems such as those undergoing chemotherapy, This is not the same as a booster and recipients of a third dose will may be invited to have a booster jab six months later.