A coronavirus booster vaccine dose helps improve the protection you have from your first two doses of the vaccine. Your booster dose may be different from the vaccines you had for your first and second doses. The booster helps give you longer-term protection against getting seriously ill from COVID-19. As with your previous dose the common side effects are the same for all COVID-19 vaccines used in the UK.
Side effects of the booster include having a painful, heavy feeling and tenderness in the arm where you had your injection.
The NHS says “this tends to be worst around one to two days after the vaccine”.
They also include feeling tired, a headache, and general aches, or mild flu like symptoms.“Symptoms following vaccination normally last less than a week.
If your symptoms seem to get worse or if you are concerned, you can call NHS 111,” it notes.
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To help cope with the side effects of the Covid booster, the NHS recommends rest and taking paracetamol.
Those eligible for the Covid booster will either receive the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine.
This means that if you had the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine the first couple of times around, your vaccines will be mixed.
Some people might be offered a booster dose of the Oxford/AstraZeneca if they cannot have the Pfizer or Moderna jab. Your vaccine efficacy will not be reduced if you mix and match jabs.
The NHS says that booster vaccine doses will be available for people aged 50 and over, people who live and work in care homes, frontline health and social care workers, and a number of others.
This includes people aged 16 and over with a health condition that puts them at high risk of getting seriously ill from COVID-19, and people aged 16 and over who are a main carer for someone at high risk from COVID-19.
The NHS also says people aged 16 and over who live with someone who is more likely to get infections.
This will include people who have HIV, those who have had a transplant or having certain treatments for cancer, lupus or rheumatoid arthritis.
If you have not received an invite but it’s been six months and one week, which is 190 days, since your second dose, you can try to book your appointment online without an invite.
You may be able to get your booster dose at a walk-in COVID-19 vaccination site if you had your second dose at least six months ago.
Those who are eligible for a booster dose can now use the NHS online walk-in finder to find the most convenient site to get their top-up without an appointment.
More than 86 million vaccines have already been delivered and nine in 10 adults have had their first dose, according to the NHS.
Doctor Nikki Kanani, GP and deputy lead for the NHS COVID-19 vaccination programme said: “NHS staff are making it as easy as possible for people to get their top-up vaccination, and from today people can now go online, find their nearest site and go and get their booster without delay.
“The booster is not just a nice to have – it is really important protection ahead of what we know will be a challenging winter.
So if you are eligible, please do check the site finder and go get your jab.
“The NHS says: “Most people who can get a COVID-19 booster vaccine are also eligible for the annual flu vaccine.“If you are offered both vaccines, it’s safe to have them at the same time.”