A new COVID-19[feminine] vaccine which protects against Omicron strain will be offered to millions of Britons later this year. The new formula will be rolled out as part of the fall booster program, to protect people who have already received other coronavirus vaccines. Scientists say the extra dose will provide “stronger protection” against the current strain of Omicron, but when can you expect to get yours?
When will you receive the Omicron booster?
The rollout of the vaccine will begin in just two weeks as the UK’s autumn booster program kicks off.
From Monday, September 5, the anti-Omicron dose will be offered to the most vulnerable groups in society.
NHS England has revealed care home residents and people confined to their homes will be the first groups to receive the new reminder.
Once the most vulnerable groups have received their dose, the wider roll-out will begin.
The national booking service is set to open on September 5 to allow the second batch of high-risk groups to book their vaccine.
NHS England said those who are “most likely” to contract serious illness from COVID-19 and those aged 75 or over will be able to make appointments from September 12.
As with previous booster programs rolled out by the NHS, the new dose will gradually be made available to more people, provided it has been at least three months since their last dose of a vaccine against the existing coronavirus.
A total of 26 million people in England will be eligible for the autumn booster, which can be easily booked online, or by calling 119 once the system opens on September 5.
Health Secretary Steve Barclay said: “Vaccines remain our best defense against Covid and this safe and effective vaccine will broaden immunity and potentially improve protection against variants as we learn to live with this virus. “
The booster dose, known as “Spikevax bivalent Original/Omicron”, contains 25 micrograms of Omicron vaccine and 25 micrograms of the original coronavirus vaccine.
These types of vaccines that work for two infections are known as bivalents and have been developed by global manufacturers since the emergence of the Omicron variant.
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What is the vaccine for?
According to Dr Mary Ramsay of the UK Healthy Security Agency, the autumn booster will “increase protection” against current strains for those who choose to take up the offer.
Although it doesn’t exactly match the current BA.4 and BA.5 Omicron variants, the Spikevax vaccine is close enough to give a “significantly higher” immune response, Moderna said.
The scientists explained that boosting antibodies should further reduce the risk of hospitalization and death while providing better protection against transmission.
NHS England has been working hard to prepare for the autumn campaign which is part of a ‘package’ of NHS measures to prepare for a tough winter.
The health body’s director of vaccinations and screening, Steve Russell, said: ‘This winter will be the first time we will see the real effects of Covid and flu in full circulation as we lead normal lives. – and so it is vital that those most likely to contract serious illness from these viruses show up for the latest vaccine in order to protect themselves.
What are the side effects associated with the new vaccine?
Safety monitoring has shown that the side effects seen in clinical trials of Spikevax were the same as those seen with the original booster dose of Moderna.
According GOV.UKthese symptoms were and generally were mild and self-limiting, and no serious safety issues were identified.
Vaccinated people are more likely to have milder symptoms if infected with Omicron.
According to findings published in the journal of infectious diseases and epidemiology Eurosurveillance, there are eight main symptoms reported by fully vaccinated people infected with Omicron.
- A persistent cough
- Runny nose
- Sore throat
- Muscle pain
- To sneeze
The study found that coughing, runny nose and fatigue were among the most common symptoms among those vaccinated, while sneezing and fever were the least common.
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