All over-18s will now be offered a Covid booster jab

The waiting period between jabs has also been halved from six to three months


All over-18s will now be invited to receive a Covid booster jab by the end of January, in an effort to protect against the new Omicron variant, the government have announced.

The booster programme, which was previously available to those over the age of 40, will now be offered to all adults over the age of 18, the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation has ruled.

People will be worked through by age group – as at other stages of the Covid vaccine roll-out. “We will let you know when it’s your turn,” NHS England chief executive Amanda Pritchard said.

This means an extra 13 million people will be eligible for the booster vaccine.

On top of this, the interval between second and third doses of the vaccine will be halved from six months to a minimum of three months.

Children aged 12 to 15 will now also be offered second doses. Until now, only first doses had been approved for children.

The expansion of the vaccination programme comes as nine more case of the Omicron variant were confirmed in the UK.

Professor Wei Shen Lim, chairman of the JCVI, said: “Having a booster dose of the vaccine will help to increase our level of protection against the omicron variant. This is an important way for us to reduce the impact of this variant on our lives, especially in the coming months.

“If you are eligible for a booster, please take up the offer and keep yourself protected as we head into winter.”

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