The Spring booster programme for 2023 has now started. There will also be a further booster in Autumn 2023.
Those eligible for a Spring 2023 booster include:
adults aged 75 years and over
residents in a care home for older adults
people aged 5 years and over who are immunosuppressed (this includes people with blood cancer).
Household contacts of people who are immunosuppressed are not eligible in the Spring 2023 booster programme, but may be included in future booster programmes.
In England, Spring boosters will start on 17 April 2023 and end on 30 June 2023. Outside of these dates, boosters would not be offered. The national booking system will open on 5 April 2023, so you can book your booster online.
In Scotland, Spring booster appointments are being offered between 11 April 2023 and 30 June 2023. You will be invited from 24 April, or earlier if you are 75+. You can reschedule your appointment if needed. You can book using the online portal or call the vaccination helpline on 0800 030 8013 if you have any questions.
In Wales, Spring boosters will be offered between 1 April 2023 and 30 June 2023. You should receive an invitation from your health board.
In Northern Ireland, Spring boosters will be offered from 12 April 2023. If you're 18 or over, you can get your Spring booster at a participating community pharmacy. Your GP will also invite you. Those aged 5 to 17 will be vaccinated by Trust clinics.
In all four nations, the spring booster programme will end on 30 June 2023. The booster dose should be offered around 6 months after the last dose, although there is flexibility around this.
If you think you are eligible for a Spring booster in 2023 but have not been invited as the end of the programme approaches, you can get help using the phone numbers below:
England: Call 119
Scotland: Call 0800 030 8013
Wales: Call your local Health Board
Northern Ireland: Call 0300 200 7813
Which vaccine will I get?
You will be given a vaccine made by Pfizer, Moderna or Sanofi, which are all approved in the UK. These vaccines have been updated to target different variants of covid.
These vaccines offer slightly higher levels of antibodies against more recent strains of covid (Omicron), so it's important to take up the offer of a booster.
The Sanofi vaccine contains an adjuvant (a chemical used to improve the immune response to the virus). This vaccine will only be offered to older people, who may respond less well to vaccines. The adjuvant in the covid vaccine is similar to the one used in the flu vaccine given to over 65s.
Autumn boosters 2023
The government has confirmed there will also be an Autumn 2023 booster campaign. We expect this to be similar to the Spring booster campaign, although we haven't got the details yet.
Shorten your booster wait
We know some people are worried about attending busy vaccination centres for their covid vaccines. The NHS in England have sent us this poster, clarifying that you can be fast-tracked if you are immunosuppressed, so you don't have to wait in a busy queue. You may want to print this out and take it to your vaccination centre, to help you ask for the extra protection.