Autumn Covid Booster Information
COVID-19 Autumn booster FAQ
Who can get the COVID-19 Autumn booster?
• residents of care homes for older adults
• front line health and social care workers
• all those aged 50 years or above
• people aged 5 to 49 years in a clinical risk group (including pregnant women) or who are household contacts of people with a weakened immune system
• people aged 16 to 49 years who are carers
Can I have my flu vaccine and COVID-19 booster in the same appointment?
Yes, if you are eligible to have both vaccines, you may be offered both in the same appointment. It is safe to receive both vaccines at the same time.
Why do I need an autumn booster?
Those most at risk of becoming seriously ill from COVID-19 are being offered an autumn booster.
Viruses, like COVID-19, spread much more easily in winter, so it’s important that everyone eligible tops up their protection with an autumn booster.
Can I still catch COVID-19 after having the vaccine?
Like all medicines, the vaccine does not 100% guarantee that you will not catch COVID-19 but it does mean that you are less likely to be seriously ill from the virus
Has the COVID-19 booster been given to people like me?
Each of the vaccines are tested on tens of thousands of people across the world. They are tested on both men and women, on people from different ethnic backgrounds, and of all age groups.
When will I be contacted, and how?
The NHS will contact everyone who is eligible for an autumn booster, starting with those most at risk You will receive a letter, email or text from the NHS when it is your turn to come forward.
Once you have received your invitation, people can book their autumn booster dose by
• Calling the Gateway on 0800 092 4020 or 0161 947 0770. The Gateway can make you an appointment at a local vaccination site. If you are unable to get to your vaccination appointment then the Gateway will also be able to arrange a free taxi to and from the vaccination site, just ask them when you call. The phone line is open Monday – Friday from 8:00am to 6:00pm, excluding bank holidays.
• Using the link in a text message you receive from your GP practice and following the instructions. You can do this to book into your local vaccination site.
• You can also book an appointment for a COVID -19 vaccination at a local vaccination site, or a community pharmacy site by calling 119 (interpreters available on request) or by booking online at www.nhs.uk/covid-vaccination
• For those people who use British Sign Language you can also book an appointment online by visiting www.signvideo.co.uk/nhs119. Using your computer and webcam, or the SignVideo app on your smartphone or tablet, you make a video call to a BSL interpreter. The interpreter telephones an NHS 119 operative and relays your conversation with them.
What are COVID-19 bivalent booster vaccines?
COVID-19 vaccines which target two different variants of COVID-19 are called bivalent vaccines. Bivalent vaccines improve protection against variants of COVID-19. The autumn booster is a bivalent vaccine.
How do we know the COVID-19 bivalent vaccines are safe?
All vaccines used in the UK must be authorised by our independent medicines’ regulator, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). Each COVID-19 vaccine is assessed by teams of scientists and clinicians on a case-by-case basis and is only authorised once it has met robust standards of effectiveness, safety and quality set by MHRA. The MHRA has reviewed the available safety and efficacy data supporting Moderna’s bivalent vaccine and provided its authorisation.
Are there any serious side effects to having the COVID-19 vaccine?
Worldwide, there have been very rare cases of inflammation of the heart called myocarditis or pericarditis reported after some vaccinations. These cases have been seen mostly in younger men within several days after vaccination. Most of these people recovered and felt better following rest and simple treatments.
You should seek medical advice urgently if, after vaccination, you experience:
• chest pain
• shortness of breath
• feelings of having a fast-beating, fluttering, or pounding heart
Can I have the booster if I feel unwell?
If you are feeling unwell, if you have a fever or have recently had a fever, it is better to leave a seven day interval between the start of your symptoms and getting your vaccine. You should not attend a vaccine appointment if you are self-isolating or waiting for a COVID-19 test.
I’ve only just had my first or second COVID-19 vaccine, can I have the autumn booster jab?
You can only have your autumn booster jab 3 months after you have had your second COVID -19 vaccination.
I haven’t yet had the COVID-19 vaccination, can I still get my first jabs?
Everyone who is eligible that hasn’t already had their first or second COVID-19 vaccination will still be able to get vaccinated, even when the COVID-19 autumn booster programme begins.
I have had COVID, do I need to wait before having my booster?
If you've recently had a confirmed COVID-19 infection, you should ideally wait before getting any dose of the vaccine. You should ideally wait:
• 4 weeks (28 days) if you're aged 18 years old or over
• 12 weeks (84 days) if you’re aged 5 to 17 years
• 4 weeks (28 days) if you’re aged 12 to 17 years old and at high-risk from COVID-19
This starts from the date your symptoms started or from the date of a positive test, whichever was earlier.
Do I need to receive the same type of vaccine or booster as my previous ones?
No, all COVID-19 vaccines authorised for use are highly effective and provide a strong booster response. When you attend your appointment, the NHS will offer you a safe, effective vaccine.
How and when do I access my booster if I am housebound?
If you're currently housebound and you think you’re eligible for a home vaccination, please contact your GP practice