THE Covid-19 booster programme is now in its sixth week and has seen more than one million people receive a third dose of a coronavirus vaccine in the south west. 

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

Booster vaccines can still only be given after a six-month interval but allowing appointments to be booked at five months means people can get their jabs booked ahead of time.

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.

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Dr Andy Rutland

“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.”

The Daily Echo have rounded up everything you currently need to know about getting your booster jab in Dorset:

Who is eligible for a booster vaccine?

Booster jabs are available through the NHS for people most at risk from COVID-19 who have already had 2 doses of a vaccine at least 6 months after your second vaccine.

This includes:

  • people who live and work in care homes
  • frontline health and social care workers
  • people aged 50 and over
  • people aged 16 and over with a health condition that puts them at high risk of getting seriously ill from COVID-19
  • carers aged 16 and over
  • people aged 16 and over who live with someone who is more likely to get infections (such as someone who has HIV, has had a transplant or is having certain treatments for cancer, lupus or rheumatoid arthritis)
  • People who are pregnant and in 1 of the eligible groups can also get a booster dose.

READ MORE: Talbot View care home not yet offered Covid booster jab

What does the booster jab do?

Like some other vaccines, levels of protection may begin to wane over time. The booster will help to reduce the risk of you needing admission to hospital due to COVID-19 infection this winter.

Protection against severe disease from the first two doses seems to decline very slowly. So don’t worry if your booster vaccine is given a few weeks after the six months time-point. The booster dose should help to extend your protection into the next year.

Where can I get a booster jab?

As well as booking an appointment at the GP, a vaccine site or pharmacy, you can also visit a small number of walk in sites across Dorset. 

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.”

When can I book my booster jab? 

You can book your Covid-19 booster five months after your second dose, but you will not receive the vaccine until six months (182 days) after your second dose. 

How can I book a booster jab?

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

For more information on walk-in sites please visit the NHS website (

Which vaccine will I get?

You will be given a booster dose of either Pfizer or Moderna vaccine (AstraZeneca may be an option if this is the vaccine that you had for the first two doses). 

You will be offered the right vaccine for you which may be the same or different from the vaccines that you had before.

READ MORE: One million booster jabs administered across south west

Can I still catch Covid-19 after having the vaccine?

The COVID-19 vaccination will reduce the chance of you suffering from COVID-19. It may take a few days for your body to build up some protection from the booster.

Like all medicines, no vaccine is completely effective – some people may still get COVID-19 despite having a vaccination, but this should be less severe.

Can I still go on holiday if I don’t get my booster jab?

You do not need a COVID-19 booster vaccination to get an NHS COVID Pass for domestic use in England. 

However, the government is considering whether and how booster vaccinations could be included in the NHS COVID Pass for international travel.

I haven’t had any Covid-19 vaccine yet - is there still time to book? 

There is still time to get your COVID-19 jab. There are many opportunities across Dorset where you can get your vaccine. Go to: