Changes to COVID-19 vaccinations
NHS COVID-19 vaccinations have saved countless lives, kept tens of thousands of people out of hospital, and helped us to live with the virus without fear or restrictions.
The latest offer of spring vaccinations for those at highest risk of severe illness from COVID-19 (including people aged 75 and above or with a weakened immune system, and residents of care homes for older adults) ended on 30 June with more than 4.3m people nationally getting protected.
The offer of two COVID-19 vaccinations for everyone aged 5 or above (by 31 August 2022) ended on the same day.
After 30 June, the NHS offer is becoming more targeted to those at increased risk from COVID-19, in line with expert advice from JCVI, and most people who are eligible will have to wait until autumn to get the vaccine.
If you develop a new health condition or start treatment that severely weakens your immune system, an exception may be made if your clinician advises you to get vaccinated sooner. Please speak to a specialist for more information if you think this may apply to you or a relative.
In June, the NHS started offering COVID-19 vaccinations for children aged 6 months to 4 years who are at increased risk from COVID-19 due to certain medical conditions, in line with expert advice from JCVI. This offer also remains open beyond 30 June to eligible children, who will be invited by local NHS services, for example through their GP practice.
The NHS awaits final JCVI advice and Government guidance on who will be eligible for autumn/ winter vaccinations in 2023. Interim JCVI advice suggests these could be offered to people who are at increased risk from COVID, for example due to their age or a health condition.
The NHS will let you know during autumn if your NHS record suggests you may be eligible for a vaccination ahead of winter.
It is important that those eligible come forward as protection against COVID-19 (either from catching the virus or from a previous vaccination) fades over time, and the virus could make them very ill.
All COVID-19 vaccines offered by the NHS have been tested on thousands of people across the world and have met the strict standards of safety, quality and effectiveness outlined by the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).
Can I book a COVID-19 vaccination?
You cannot currently book a COVID-19 vaccination. For most people, vaccinations are only available seasonally. The COVID-19 vaccination bookings service will reopen when seasonal vaccinations are available.
Who can currently get a COVID-19 vaccine?
Only children aged 6 months to 4 years old who are at increased risk from COVID-19 can currently get a vaccine.If you develop a new health condition or start treatment that severely weakens your immune system, your specialist may advise you that you need an additional vaccine before the autumn.
When can I get my next COVID-19 vaccine?
You may be able to get a seasonal COVID-19 vaccine in autumn 2023 if you’re at increased risk from COVID-19, for example due to a health conditionor your age. The NHS will contact you if your NHS record suggests you may be eligible.
How can I get a vaccine for my child aged 6 months to 4 years old?
Local NHS services (such as your GP surgery) will invite eligible children for their vaccinations and arrange their appointments. If your child is eligible because they are at increased risk from COVID-19, please wait to be contacted. You can find out more about eligibility here. For more information you can also call the Hampshire and Isle of Wight COVID-19 vaccination helpline on 0300 561 0018. The phoneline is open Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm and can also provide information in other languages such as Polish, Arabic, Chinese and Bengali.
How can I get an additional vaccine for someone with a severely weakened immune system?
Your specialist will assess whether you need an additional vaccine. They will make a referral and advise on the best timing for vaccination around your planned treatment. Speak to your specialist for more information. You can find out more about eligibility here. For more information you can also call the Hampshire and Isle of Wight COVID-19 vaccination helpline on 0300 561 0018. The phoneline is open Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm and can also provide information in other languages such as Polish, Arabic, Chinese and Bengali.
Who is at increased risk from COVID-19?
Some people are at increased risk from COVID-19, for example due to a health condition or their age. More information is available online at england.nhs.uk/covid-increased-risk. For all other COVID-19 vaccination queries visit nhs.uk/covidvaccination.
Background on the COVID-19 vaccination programme in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight
The rollout of the COVID-19 vaccination programme began in winter 2020, with the vaccine first being made available to individuals considered most vulnerable to the virus. It has since been gradually offered to all people aged five years plus including booster jabs for those eligible.
From hospitals and pharmacies to clinics in fire stations, libraries and shopping centres, the programme has been based in numerous different locations across the patch to help make accessing the vaccine as easy as possible. However, without the amazing teams and volunteers who have stepped up to support, none of it would have been possible.
In Hampshire and Isle of Wight we are proud of the role we have played in the largest vaccination programme ever seen in NHS history and have so far delivered over five million doses of the vaccine, helping keep people and their loved ones safe.