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Dr Hilary discusses ‘minor’ side effects of booster vaccine

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With Christmas rapidly approaching, ministers are urging as many people as possible to get their booster jabs to avoid a spike in coronavirus cases dampening the holidays. Who has been offered a booster jab so far? And how do you book your third Covid jab?

Speaking on the Andrew Marr show on Sunday, Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid urged all over-40s to get their third jab and implied the booster could be offered to all UK adults in future.

Mr Javid said: “If it makes sense to go further, we will. The latest data shows that the boosters are immensely effective.”

As the Government looks towards what could be a difficult winter, with warning signs from rising infection rates across Europe, they are encouraging everyone who is eligible to get their jabs.

In the same interview with Andrew Marr, Mr Javid ruled out mandatory vaccinations in Britain, adiral medicine saying: “taking a vaccine should be a positive choice.

“If people are a bit reluctant we should work with them and encourage them,” he continued.

Earlier this month, the Government followed the advice of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) and started offering the booster jab to anyone aged over 40.

The JCVI are now preparing their advice on whether booster jabs should be rolled out to everyone aged over 18 in the UK.

The JCVI prepares advice solely based on science; it is then up to the Government to consider other factors and choose whether to implement the JCVI’s advice.

As of November 20, 2021, more than 15 million booster jabs have been administered across the UK, according to the Government’s data.

In a statement from the Department of Health and Social Care, Mr Javid said: “While we know immunity can wane after 6 months, new data published this week shows a third dose boosts protection against symptomatic infection to more than 90% – showing just how important the booster is, so come forward for yours as soon as you can to protect yourself and your loved ones.”

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Who is currently eligible for a third booster dose of the vaccine?

Third doses of the vaccine are available to people from the following groups, who have had their first two doses of the vaccine, and had their second dose at least six months before receiving their booster:

  • People aged 40 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
  • People aged 16 and over who are a main carer for someone at high risk from COVID-19
  • 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)

People who are pregnant and in one of the eligible groups can also get a booster dose.

If you’re eligible, you can book your booster vaccine online, go to a local walk-in vaccination centre, or wait to be contacted by your GP.

You can also call 119 to book a vaccine appointment over the phone.

All 16 and 17 year olds are now being encouraged to get their second dose of the vaccine.

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