THOUSANDS more Brits can now book in for their life-saving Covid boosters from today.
Vulnerable 12-15 year olds can use the online portal to grab a slot.
Teens who are severely immunocompromised or with underlying health conditions are invited to get as protected as possible.
When told they can book in, it's now even simpler to choose a day and time to have a jab.
Around 6,400 invitations have been sent to parents and guardians of eligible children urging them to get vaccinated by a local GP.
And now the NHS will be writing to about 4,400 teens currently eligible to invite them to book in using the national booking service.
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While only a small number of 12 to 15s are currently eligible, thousands more will be 12 weeks on from their second jab in the coming weeks and months.
Research from UK Health Security Agency has shown that the NHS booster programme has helped prevent around 157,000 hospitalisations since mid-December.
Nikki Kanani, GP and Deputy SRO for the NHS Covid Vaccination Programme, said: “Children’s lives, including their education, have been significantly disrupted over the last two years and every parent wants to do all they can to protect their little ones and keep them in school.
“But when a family has the added worry of what covid could mean for a child who is seriously unwell, getting them their top up boost in protection as soon as they become eligible is vitally important.
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“For young people aged 12 to 15 who are clinically at risk that is a booster three months after their second dose, with it now even easier for families to get their child booked in and protected at a convenient vaccination centre nearby.”
The Government accepted advice from the JCVI to extend the booster programme to at risk 12 to 15s at the end of last year.
This was with the aim of providing a top-up in protection to those with an underlying health condition – which means they are clinically at risk.
Clinically at-risk 12 to 15 year olds or those who live with someone who is immunosuppressed can have their booster three months after the first two jabs.
And those who are severely immunosuppressed – around 55,000 young people – are able to get their booster after a third dose.
It comes as Brits over 75 years old, care home residents and people over 12 who are immunosuppressed can get a booster in a few weeks.
NHS England is prepped to start dishing out vaccines to eligible people later this month, as long as they are six months on from their last shot.
The original plan was to start the next phase of the rollout from April, but anyone who is eligible before then can have another vaccine.
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It has not been confirmed when exactly this might start, with some reports suggesting from March 21 – if you think you are eligible, wait for your invite.
An NHS spokesperson said: “The NHS continues to follow JCVI guidance accepted by Government, and in line with this, the NHS will be vaccinating eligible people with a spring dose six months after their first booster starting later this month for the small number of people eligible before April.”
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