People can now book their COVID-19 booster appointment five months (152 days) after their second dose, meaning they could receive their top up vaccine on the day they become eligible at six months (182 days).

The booster vaccination programme was recommended by the Joint Committee of Vaccinations and Immunisations (JCVI) to boost the immunity in those who are most likely to become seriously unwell from COVID-19.

Booster vaccines can still only be given after a six-month interval (at least six months after your second vaccine dose), but allowing appointments to be booked at five months means people can get their jabs booked in ahead.

Dr Andy Rutland, Dorset GP and clinical lead for the Dorset COVID-19 vaccination programme, said:

“The local NHS is working extremely hard to deliver all parts of the COVID-19 vaccination programme in Dorset, including boosters. The booster tops up your level of immunity going into the winter months.

“The change to the national booking system makes booking your vaccination appointment easier than ever, giving people reassurance that their booster appointment is booked for when they need it and a location convenient for them.

“I encourage those eligible to book their appointment five months after their second dose to give them the peace of mind that their booster appointment is confirmed.

“Pre-booking an appointment is the best way to ensure you get your vaccine at a time and place that works for you.”

Across Dorset there are currently a number of sites that you can book your booster appointment as well as some GPs who are contacting patients to book an appointment with them.

Those who are eligible can book their COVID-19 booster appointment by visiting the national booking system website or calling 119.

As well as booking an appointment, people can benefit from a small number of walk in sites. For more information please visit the NHS website.

Dr Rutland added: “We anticipate that further local sites will come on stream to book on the national booking system in the coming weeks.

“Demand is high and available appointments continue to be added to the national booking system so please keep continuing to check availability and we’d like to thank you for your patience during this very busy time for the NHS.”