People aged 16 years and over who are severely immunosuppressed can now book a fourth dose of the COVID-19 vaccination.
A statement published by NHS England on 31 January 2022 highlighted that the online vaccination booking system had been updated to allow booster bookings for severely immunosuppressed people.
NHS England indicated that around 400,000 people in England would be eligible, including those undertaking cancer treatment and those with a long-term chronic condition that puts them at a higher risk of developing severe COVID-19.
Before now, the NHS has contacted people who were eligible for additional doses of the vaccine, with GPs and their clinicians also asked to identify and invite eligible patients for their vaccinations.
NHS England said that the change to the online service would make it “even easier” for people to plan and book their top-up vaccinations, which they will be able to do up to one month in advance.
Stephen Powis, national medical director at NHS England, said: “As more people who are at the highest risk from COVID-19 become eligible for their booster jab they will benefit from being able to book an appointment online at a convenient vaccination centre.
“Getting the vaccine is the best way to prevent the likelihood of becoming seriously unwell from COVID-19 and is all the more important if you have a weakened immune system in helping ensure you are protected.”
Sajid Javid, health and social care secretary, added in the NHS statement: “Our vaccines are the best line of defence against this virus and it is vital those who are most at risk get their third and fourth doses when eligible, to ensure they have as much protection as possible.”
According to NHS England’s statement, decisions on when to get a fourth jab will be made between patients and their clinicians, with the majority of fourth doses administered through hospital consultants and GPs.