Article updated 17 November 2021
Reading people are being called up to get a Covid booster vaccination.
The government launched a national booster vaccination scheme on 16 September 2021 after scientists said protection from the initial two Covid vaccine jabs may reduce over time, particularly in older people. Having a booster could help prevent people going into hospital and assist the NHS in coping over winter.
Who is eligible?
The booster is being offered to:
- People living in care homes
- Frontline health and social care workers
- All adults aged 50 years and over
- Everyone aged 16-49 with underlying health conditions
All people aged 40-49 years old (bookings are due to open up from Monday 22 November 2021)
What vaccine will be offered?
Ideally one dose of Pfizer or a half dose of Moderna, regardless of which type you had for first two doses. AstraZeneca can be offered in certain cases.
When can I get it?
For most people the booster can be delivered from 182 days (6 months) after the date of your 2nd dose.
(Certain people about to receive immunosupressant treatment will be able to get it sooner at four months).
What if I've recently had Covid?
You must wait 4 weeks (28 days) before booking if you've had a positive COVID-19 test, starting from the date you had the test.
How can I get my booster?
- wait for an invite from your GP/the NHS
- use the national booking system to make an appointment
- 'grab a jab' as a walk-in with no appointment (certain locations only)
Where will I need to go?
Like with the first vaccine doses, people will either be encouraged to use mass vaccination centres (like the one in Broad Street), some pharmacies or attend GP-led hubs. (Housebound people will be visited at home).
Booster vaccine locations
Mass Vaccination Centre
- Broad Street Mall (offering walk-ins and booked appointments) in Reading
- Other locations in Berkshire will also show on national booking system
- Balmore Park Surgery: running on-site booster clinics for its own patients
- Emmer Green Surgery: running on-site booster clinics for its own patients
- Watlington House, South Street: joint vaccine hub for patients at Long Barn Lane, London Street and South Reading surgeries
- Circuit Lane Surgery: Running a joint booster clinic for patients of Circuit Lane, Western Elms and The Potteries surgeries
- Tilehurst Village Surgery: joint vaccine hub for patients of Tilehurst Village and Chancellor House Surgery, Grovelands Medical Centre and Westwood Road Health Centre
- Milman & Kennet Surgery: running a joint vaccine clinic every Saturday until Christmas for patients with Milman & Kennet Surgery, Reading Walk-In Centre and Abbey Medical Centre
- University Health Centre: running joint clinic for patients at University Health Centre and Whitley Villa surgeries
- Boots in Broad Street
- Erleigh Road Pharmacy, Erleigh Road
- Triangle Pharmacy, School Rd, Tilehurst
How do I book my booster vaccine?
You can either:
- Follow the instructions from the text or phone call from your GP surgery
- Use the national booking site (or call 119) once it's been 152 days (5 months) since your 2nd dose, to book an appointment dated at least 182 (6 months) after your 2nd dose
GP surgeries are appealing to people not to call to ask about vaccine dates as their phone lines are already busy for people seeking general appointments.
How do walk-in appointments work?
As of 4 November 2021 you can turn up to the Broad Street Mall Mass Vaccine Centre between 9.30am and 7.30pm without an appointment for a booster. The centre is where the old New Look shop used to be.
You can check walk-in locations and hours by going to the NHS 'grab a jab' site.
(People who've missed their first or second doses can also walk in for these vaccines, but 12-15 year-olds must be accompanied by a parent or guardian).
Can I get a flu vaccine at the same time?
It is safe to have the Covid booster and the flu vaccine at the same time and the NHS would ideally like to give you both in one go, but it will depend on whether supplies arrive at the same time.
Is a booster the same as a 'third primary dose'?
There has been some confusion as they were announced around the same time and there may be overlaps between who is eligible for both. Read the latest local advice in our separate article here. Essentially, if you get a booster, it also serves as a third primary dose, but you may need another dose some time in the future, subject to national guidance.
Where can I find out more?