All adults in the UK should be offered booster jabs from just three months after their second vaccinations as the government’s advisers speeded up the programme to limit the spread of the Omicron variant.
The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) announced that the waiting time was being cut for all adults, with priority for booking to be decided by the NHS.
The advisers said adults aged 18 to 39 should be offered boosters and recommended cutting the gap between second and third doses from at least six months to at least three months.
The rollout is expected to be staggered by age group with older people invited for boosters first.
Severely immunocompromised people will be eligible for boosters three months after their primary course of three vaccinations.
The committee also said 12- to 15-year-olds will be able to get their second Covid jabs for the first time.
The JCVI deputy chairman, Prof Anthony Harnden, said over the weekend that such a move was “a sensible strategy” as scientists raced to improve their understanding of the new variant of Covid-19, Omicron.
The extension of the booster programme to an extra 13 million adults under 40 means that in total 53 million people in the UK will eventually become eligible.