The NHS in Oxfordshire has started delivering COVID booster jabs to people in eligible groups, as the biggest and most successful vaccination programme in health service history moves to the next stage.
In line with guidance set out by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JVCI), the NHS vaccination programme is inviting eligible people, who had their second COVID jab at least six months ago, for a top up.
These groups include:
- those living in residential care homes for older adults
- all adults aged 50 years or over
- frontline health and social care workers
- all those aged 16 to 49 years with underlying health conditions that put them at higher risk of severe COVID-19, and adult carers
- adult household contacts of immunosuppressed individuals
At this stage, those eligible for boosters will be our most vulnerable residents who had their COVID vaccination in the early weeks of the vaccination programme, in December 2020 and January 2021.
People will be offered the booster through a range of services. Primary care teams will vaccinate care home staff and residents. Health and social care staff will be directed to book their appointments through employers and members of the public will be invited to get their booster through a GP-led service and/or be contacted by the NHS to go through the national COVID-19 vaccination booking service. People can also book their booster via the national booking service once they are eligible.
You do not need to contact the NHS to arrange your booster vaccine; the NHS will be in touch when you become eligible for the jab, with around 4.5 million people in priority groups eligible for a booster over the coming weeks.
Dr Ed Capo-Bianco, Oxfordshire GP and a clinical director at Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “We want to provide the people who are most likely to become seriously ill from COVID-19 and those who care for them with the best possible protection for this winter.
“The flu vaccination programme is also running to protect people from serious complications from getting flu, so we would also encourage people who are eligible for a COVID-19 booster to also get their flu vaccination. More information on the flu vaccination is at www.nhs.uk/flujab .”
The JCVI has advised a preference for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for the booster programme, regardless of which vaccine someone received for their first two doses. The Pfizer vaccine is well tolerated as a third dose and provides a strong booster response.
As most younger adults will only have received their second COVID-19 vaccine dose by late summer or early autumn, the benefits of booster vaccination in this group will be considered at a later time.
This advice is separate from recent JCVI advice on a third primary dose people who are severely immunosuppressed. The JCVI will review whether this group requires a further dose at a later date, following completion of their three dose primary course.
Anyone aged 16 and over who has not already had their first or second COVID-19 vaccination can still get vaccinated at a walk-in clinic or, for those aged 18 and over, by booking through the NHS booking service ( or call 119 free of charge, anytime between 7am and 11pm seven days a week).
Details of walk-in clinics open in Oxfordshire are available on the OCCG website here.