Autumn vaccinations

Latest guidance on the COVID-19 vaccination programme

Autumn COVID-19 programme

From 18 September those who are eligible will be offered a COVID vaccination, in line with the latest guidance.

Those eligible for an autumn COVID vaccine are:

  • residents in a care home for older adults
  • all adults aged 65 years and over
  • persons aged 6 months to 64 years in a clinical risk group, as laid out in the Immunisation Green Book, COVID-19 chapter (Green Book)
  • frontline health and social care workers
  • persons aged 12 to 64 years who are household contacts (as defined in the Green Book) of people with immunosuppression
  • persons aged 16 to 64 years who are carers (as defined in the Green Book) and staff working in care homes for older adults.

Clinical risk groups for individuals aged 16 years and over include:

  • Chronic respiratory disease
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Chronic neurological disease, such as stroke and individuals with cerebral palsy, profound multiple learning disabilities, Down’s syndrome, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, dementia, Parkinson’s disease, motor neurone disease and related or similar conditions.
  • Diabetes
  • Those with immunosuppression
  • Asplenia or dysfunction of the spleen
  • Morbid obesity
  • Severe mental illness
  • Younger adults in long-stay nursing and residential care settings
  • Pregnant women

Clinical risk groups for those aged under 16 years include:

  • Chronic respiratory disease
  • Chronic heart conditions
  • Chronic conditions of the kidney, liver or digestive system
  • Chronic neurological disease
  • Endocrine disorders
  • Immunosuppression
  • Asplenia or dysfunction of the spleen
  • Serious genetic

COVID-19 vaccinations are required because there are some signs that protection offered by the vaccine may start dropping off several months after the second dose – with the most vulnerable groups most at risk of this reduction in protection.

We are asking people to make an appointment / attend for their COVID-19 vaccine as soon as they are eligible / invited to do so.

Common questions

Housebound and household contacts

Those who are over 65 and or immunosuppressed will be eligible for the Autumn vaccine. These people will be identified though GP records. Housebound contacts will be contacted and vaccinated accordingly. Household contacts (as defined in the Green Book) of people with immunosuppression will be eligible for the Autumn vaccination.

Why do I need another dose of the COVID-19 vaccine?

Like some other vaccines, levels of protection may decline over time. Vaccinations are being offered to those at greatest risk this autumn to help them to maintain strong protection from becoming seriously ill or needing to go to hospital if they catch COVID-19.

How will I be invited for a autumn vaccination?

If you’re eligible for a vaccination, you will receive a text message, email, NHS App message or letter from the NHS when it’s your turn to come forward.

Has the vaccine been given to people like me?

All COVID-19 vaccines offered in England have been approved for use by the independent Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

These vaccines have met the MHRA’s strict standards of safety, quality and effectiveness. There are checks at every stage in the development and manufacturing process, and continued monitoring once it has been authorised and is being used in the wider population.

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.

Will I need the same type of vaccine as I had before?

No, all COVID-19 vaccines you’ll be offered are highly effective and provide a strong booster response. When you attend your appointment, the NHS will offer you a safe, effective vaccine. 

Are COVID vaccines permitted during Ramadan fasting?

As COVID vaccines are intramuscular, some Muslim scholars believe that they do not invalidate fasts. However, we are aware that other Muslim scholars believe fasts may be invalidated by receiving the (Sanofi-GSK) vaccine that contains animal ingredients, due to potential nutritional value of the oil. You may therefore wish to seek further advice from your local Imam or request to receive one of the other vaccines that does not contain shark-derived oil.

Is there anyone that shouldn’t have the COVID-19 booster vaccine?

There are very few people in the eligible groups who should not have a booster.  If you have had a severe reaction to a previous dose of the vaccine you should discuss this with your doctor.

If I’m eligible, when and where can I get my vaccination?

The JCVI advises that the booster vaccine dose should be offered no earlier than three months after having the second dose of the vaccination.

People will be offered the vaccine through a range of services. You may be invited to get a booster through a GP-led service and/or be contacted by the NHS to book an appointment at a designated pharmacy, vaccination centre or GP-led service through the national COVID-19 vaccination booking service (NBS)

When and how will health and care staff get a COVID-19 booster?

Vaccinating teams will vaccinate care home staff and residents.

Health and care workers and social care staff can book via the national COVID-19 vaccination booking service (NBS) or walk in to ANY vaccination site without an appointment. 

Can you still catch COVID-19 after having the vaccine?

The COVID-19 vaccination will reduce the chance of you suffering from COVID-19 related disease. It may take a few days for your body to build up some protection from the booster. Some people may still get COVID-19 despite having a vaccination, but the symptoms should be less severe.

Can I get the flu and COVID-19 booster vaccine at the same time?

The COVID-19 booster and the flu vaccine can be given on the same day and, for people that are eligible for both, there may be opportunities to have both together. We would encourage you to get your vaccinations as soon as possible and get fully protected rather than waiting as it may not always be possible to get them together.

I haven’t yet had the COVID-19 vaccination, can I still get my first jabs?

Everyone that is eligible that hasn’t already had their first or second COVID-19 vaccination can still get vaccinated.

Everyone aged 12 and over can book their initial COVID-19 vaccinations through the NHS booking service (call 119 free of charge, anytime between 7am and 11pm seven days a week) or go to walk in clinic – search the list for available walk-in opportunities here.

Please do not contact your GP practice (local doctor).