Most vulnerable urged to get COVID spring booster

A careworker holding the arm of an elderly lady

The NHS is offering a further COVID-19 vaccination this spring to those at greatest risk of severe illness from the virus – and everyone eligible is urged to take the chance to keep protected.

The COVID-19 vaccination spring booster campaign runs from 17th April to 30th June for those eligible, including:

  • people aged 75 and over
  • older residents in care homes, and
  • those aged 5 years and over with a weakened immune system (also known as immunosuppressed), including patients who have had organ transplants, or who have blood cancer, and those undergoing chemotherapy treatment for cancer.

Other immunosuppressed conditions that qualify for the spring booster are listed here

Invitations to those eligible are being issued through the NHS App, where you can book an appointment. Text messages, emails and letters are also being sent to those without the app or not actively using it, including details of how to book an appointment.

You can also book a Covid booster appointment online here now

The latest booster rollout follows advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), published in March.

The committee said over the course of the pandemic data available from the UK, and internationally, showed older people were more likely to experience severe disease. As a result, they would gain the most from protection from an additional vaccine dose this spring.

Meanwhile, the current offer of first and second COVID-19 vaccinations for everyone (aged five on or before 31st August last year) will also end on 30th June. First or second doses of the COVID-19 vaccine will then be available during future seasonal campaigns.

Deputy Director of Public Health, Dr Ellen Schwartz

With vaccination the best defence against what can be a serious illness, everyone who is eligible for the spring booster should take it

Dr Ellen Schwartz Kent County Council’s Deputy Director of Public Health

Kent County Council’s Deputy Director of Public Health, Dr Ellen Schwartz, said: “While we are all learning to live with COVID-19, the virus remains life-threatening for some – particularly for older people and others with a weakened immune system.

“With vaccination the best defence against what can be a serious illness, everyone who is eligible for the spring booster should take it. It’s free and the NHS will be letting those eligible know when they can book a vaccine appointment.

“I also urge anyone who has yet to have their first or second COVID-19 doses to have them before the current offer ends in June. The virus remains highly infectious and being vaccinated increases your resistance to it – and reduces the risk you spread it to others, including the vulnerable.”

NHS Director of Vaccinations and Screening, Steve Russell, also urged those at greatest risk come forward and boost their protection in the coming weeks so they can enjoy the summer with peace of mind.

Steve Russell added COVID continues to be a virus that can cause serious illness and time in hospital. He said there were “still around 8,000 people in hospital with COVID according to the latest data, and the NHS has now treated more than one million COVID in-patients since the pandemic began.”

For more information about COVID-19 visit the NHS’s COVID-19 website and here

For more about the spring booster campaign see this update from the Department for Health and Social Care

COVID-19 vaccination timeline:

  • 17 April: The NHS will begin to vaccinate eligible members of the public in the spring booster campaign.
  • 5 May: Last chance to get a first dose to receive full primary course during spring for not-at-risk adults aged 18 and over.
  • 29 June: The last date for the public to book spring boosters.
  • 30 June: The last date for the public to get vaccinated outside of seasonal booster campaigns.