The Covid booster campaign is set to be extended to 16 and 17 year olds from Monday.

From the beginning of the week, 40,000 teenagers will be able to book their top-up dose through the national booking service.

The Covid booster programme has been extended to the age group in the latest phase of the roll-out in line with new data.

Previously, the top-up jabs were only recommended for clinically vulnerable 16 and 17-year-olds who are most at risk from Covid-19.

St Helens Star: A Covid vaccine being prepared. Credit: PAA Covid vaccine being prepared. Credit: PA

16 and 17-year-olds eligible for Covid booster from Monday

However, the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) recently published data revealing two vaccine doses were not enough to fight the Omicron variant but a booster jab significantly increased protection.

“The NHS Covid-19 vaccination programme is expanding once again to offer eligible young people aged 16 and 17 the chance to book their boosters through the online booking service from tomorrow, with walk-in sites also available across the country, as the biggest and fastest vaccine drive in health service history continues at pace," says Dr Nikki Kanani, GP and deputy lead for the NHS vaccination programme.

“Covid has caused so much disruption for so many families over the past two years, affecting young people’s lives and education, and getting vaccinated protects them, their family and their friends, letting them stay at school and continue socialising.

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“We know that the best protection against coronavirus is to get vaccinated and I’d urge everyone, whatever your age, to come forward and get that vital top-up as soon as it is possible.”

More than 600,000 in the age group in England have had their second jab and in the coming weeks, as they reach three months since their second dose, they will also be able to get their booster.

Seven in 10 people aged 16 and 17 - which is more than 889,700 teenagers in England - have had their first dose since the vaccination programme rolled out to the group in August.

St Helens Star: A person being given the Covid vaccine. Credit: PAA person being given the Covid vaccine. Credit: PA

The NHS has confirmed invitations will be sent out this week, encouraging the eligible young people to book an appointment through the online service or visit their nearest walk-in site.

Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid said: “More than four in five adults in England have already been boosted, helping to protect them from severe illness and reduce the pressure on the NHS in the face of Omicron.

“We’re now extending the programme to 16 and 17-year-olds so they can top-up their immunity this winter to keep themselves and their friends safe.

“We can learn to live with Covid-19 if everybody comes forward for their vaccines and gets boosted now.”

However, the NHS said that, in line with Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) guidance, it cannot vaccinate 16 and 17-year-olds within 12 weeks, or 84 days, of a positive Covid-19 test.

Those aged 16 and 17 and considered at high risk from Covid-19 must wait four weeks, or 28 days, from the date of a positive Covid-19 test before getting any dose of the vaccine.

More than 114 million doses have been delivered in England since the Covid-19 Vaccination Programme started in December 2020, including more than 30 million top-up doses.