COVID-19 autumn booster rollout commences across the UK

The AOP has clarified the availability of the COVID-19 booster vaccination for frontline healthcare workers

LM Booster

Frontline healthcare workers in the UK, including optical staff working in primary care settings, are to be offered the COVID-19 booster vaccination in September, the AOP has clarified.

The information, based on that released by NHS England, Northern Ireland’s Department of Health, and the Scottish and Welsh governments, comes after further details on the booster programme were released by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) in August.

In England, the booster rollout will begin on 5 September and will prioritise the groups with highest clinical risk, including those who are housebound and those in care homes. 

Those aged 75 and older who fall outside this group will be able to book their booster jabs from 12 September.

The AOP expects frontline healthcare workers to be called as the next priority, but the association has emphasised that it is waiting for further guidance on this from the NHS.

In Northern Ireland, the booster will be available through GPs, pharmacists and trusts from 19 September, and pharmacists will be able to offer optical teams the vaccination from this date. 

Exact details for when the Scottish rollout will begin are pending, although it is expected to be early September and healthcare workers are expected to be an early priority. 

The Welsh booster rollout for highest risk groups has already commenced. Details on when healthcare workers will be able to access their vaccinations are to be confirmed.