Covid Autumn Booster in Scotland: Who can get the jab this autumn? How to book a vaccination?

New data suggests that Coronavirus levels in Scotland are no longer the highest in the UK, but anyone who qualifies for the booster jab is still being urged to get it. Here’s what you need to know.

Booster jabs are being administered all over the UK as Covid-19 cases have reportedly been rising once again.

As we enter autumn, it is likely that many of us will experience symptoms of the typical illnesses associated with this time, so should you still get the jab anyway? Here’s what we know.

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What are the Covid rates in Scotland?

Unicef described the Omicron variant of Covid as the "most transmissible variant to date for all age groups."

According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), Covid levels in Scotland are no longer the highest in the UK.

However, they said the number of those in private households testing positive was “uncertain” in the week ending September 24.

It was estimated that 113,000 people (or one in 45) had Covid over that period, the same as the week to September 20.

In England it was estimated that around one in 50 people had Covid-19 in the week ending on September 24.

ONS commented that the rate in Wales was ‘uncertain’ but one in 50 people were estimated to have Covid in the week leading up to September 26 while Northern Ireland was estimated at one in 40.

Who can get the Covid booster?

If you are an unpaid carer, a resident of an elderly care home, a household contact of someone with a compromised immune system, or a health and social care staff member then you are eligible for a Covid booster and flu vaccine this year.

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If you’ve not yet received your first 2 doses of the vaccine then it is recommended that you take them as soon as possible.

If you match this criteria, but you have missed the previous booster then you should still proceed.

The UK Government said: “Covid-19 is more serious in older people and in people with certain underlying health conditions.

“This winter it is expected that many respiratory infections, including Covid-19 and flu may be circulating at high levels – this may put increasing pressure on hospitals and other health care services. For these reasons, people aged 50 years and over, those in care homes, and those aged 5 years and over in clinical risk groups are being offered an autumn booster of Covid-19 vaccine.

“A booster will also be offered to front-line health and social care staff, those who care for vulnerable individuals and families of individuals with weakened immune systems.

“The autumn booster is being offered to those at high risk of the complications of Covid-19 infection, who may have not been boosted for a few months.

“As the number of Covid-19 infections increases over the winter, this booster should help to reduce your risk of being admitted to hospital with Covid-19.”

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Should I get the booster if I have a cold?

Before deciding if you should receive the booster you first need to know that you don’t have Covid, and to do that you must take a test.

If you are presenting symptoms of Covid-19 but have not been tested then it is recommended you at least wait until your symptoms have improved before getting the vaccine.

How long you should wait for depends on your age group and circumstances, for example:

18 or over: wait 4 weeks (28 days)

5 to 17: wait 12 weeks (84 days)

5 to 17 and at high risk of Covid-19 or living with someone with a compromised immune system: wait 4 weeks (28 days)

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Which vaccine will be offered?

The NHS is using the new bivalent vaccine by Moderna which is designed to tackle the original Covid virus strain as well as the Omicron variant.

Another bivalent vaccine by Pfizer has also been approved.

Health officials say that people should accept any booster they are offered as they all offer protection against Covid.

For first and second doses of the Covid vaccine it should either be AstraZeneca (for <40’s), Pfizer or Moderna.

How do I book my Covid vaccine?

In Scotland, over-16’s can register for their first dose or organise a booster dose online via the NHS website or by calling 0800 030 8013.

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If you are a carer of someone aged five to 11 then you should wait to be offered an appointment.

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