From today, young people aged 16 and 17 years old will be able to access a booster vaccination from three months after their second dose, following an expansion of the COVID-19 vaccination programme.

The news comes as the NHS continues to encourage people still in need of a booster to come forward for their jabs as soon as they can, with booked and drop-in clinics planned at a variety of locations throughout January.

Dr Andy Seymour, Clinical Chair, NHS Gloucestershire CCG, said:

“Our teams remain ready to vaccinate eligible young people who are due for a booster in addition to anyone who still needs a first or second dose.

The good news is that there are plenty of appointment slots or drop-in clinics available for people to access a vaccine at a time convenient to them. As soon as people become eligible for a booster, we would urge them to act and get vaccinated.”

There are three ways to access a vaccination in Gloucestershire:

  1. Via appointment at a GP-led primary care network (PCN) vaccination centre

The bulk of vaccinations continue to be provided by appointment through the 11 PCN community vaccination centres across the county. Please note that these appointments are not available on the national booking system (NBS), people will receive an invite directly from local NHS services to book when it’s their turn (often via text if your GP practice has a contact number).

  1. Via the national booking system (NBS)

People may choose to book an appointment at one of 10 community pharmacies across the county using the NBS telephone number and website (www.nhs.uk/covidvaccination or call 119).

The JabVan at Gloucestershire Royal Hospital, which had been a hospital vaccination hub for health and social care workers, has also opened to the public on the National Booking System to support the COVID booster campaign.

  1. At a drop-in clinic

More drop-in clinics are being made available at a number of the community vaccination sites, plus an increasing number of ‘pop-up’ clinics are taking place at community venues even closer to where people live, including mosques or churches, cafes, community centres and homeless centres. Dates will be available on the local NHS COVID portal. People can also keep up to date through NHS Gloucestershire CCG (@GlosCCG) and GP Practice social media channels.

In line with JCVI guidance, boosters are available for 16 and 17 year olds from 3 months after their second dose.

The NHS cannot vaccinate under 18s within 12 weeks (84 days) of a positive COVID-19 test.

Those aged 16 and 17 and considered at high risk from COVID-19 must wait four weeks (28 days) from the date of a positive COVID-19 test before getting any dose of the vaccine.

Everything people need to know about the vaccination programme in Gloucestershire is available on the local NHS COVID portal, including locations of vaccination sites, information leaflets, drop-in dates and FAQs.