MILLIONS of Brits can now book in for their booster jab from today.
The online booking service has now opened for people aged 40-49, to bag a slot six months after their second dose.
Teens aged 16-17 can also now book in for their second vaccine jab, to be even more protected against Covid.
Everyone able to get their extra doses have been urged to come forward, as it means they will be fully protected by Christmas Day.
Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid said: “Getting your Covid-19 booster vaccine is the best way to keep yourself and your loved ones safe this winter and will help reduce the pressure on the NHS.
“While the government is continuing to monitor a wide range of data to ensure the country remains protected, we have very sadly seen a surge in cases in parts of Europe.
“The most important thing we can do to stop a similar rise in this country is get the jab – so please get your vaccines as soon as you can so we can keep the virus at bay.”
New data last week from the first real-world study on the effectiveness of booster vaccines by the UK Health Security Agency showed how important the booster jab is.
The research found top-up jabs boost protection back up to over 90 per cent against symptomatic Covid in adults aged over 50.
It also showed two weeks after getting a booster dose, protection against symptomatic infection in adults aged 50 years and over was 93.1 per cent in those with Oxford/AstraZeneca as their primary course and 94.0 per cent for Pfizer.
This means people who have had their booster vaccine by 11 December will have very high protection against Covid-19 by Christmas Day.
Following a rise in cases and a return of lockdown restrictions in Europe, those eligible for a booster should take up the offer as soon as possible to protect themselves, their families and help to reduce the pressure on the NHS.
Those eligible for a booster can book an appointment in advance – five months after their second dose – to be vaccinated as soon as they reach the six month mark.
Other than using the booking site, people can book by calling 119 or get vaccinated at hundreds of walk-in sites across the country six months after their second dose without an appointment.
Those eligible can use the NHS online walk-in finder to locate the most convenient site.
A total of 14 million people in the UK have already received their booster vaccines, securing crucial protection ahead of the winter.
Vaccines Minister Maggie Throup said: “We must protect the gains we have made through our vaccination programme this winter, and I urge everybody to help make this happen
“Please get your boosters when eligible, and get your first and second doses if you haven’t already, to secure vital protection during the winter to keep you and your loved ones safe.”
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