Booster shot: The best time to get the jab ahead of Christmas, according to experts

Dr Hilary discusses ‘minor’ side effects of booster vaccine

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The booster jab campaign has currently reached 16 million people across the UK. Cancer Research UK, Diabetes UK and the British heart foundation are among 16 charities to publicly support the booster shot campaign. The goal is to maximise the protection of vulnerable people during the winter flu season, and particularly during Christmas where cases are liable to spike. In addition to containing the pandemic, this will hopefully reduce the number of excess deaths as Covid cases following vaccination are less likely to result in hospitalisation.

The Department of Health has advised that booster jabs can take two weeks to reach full effectiveness.

If you want to be fully protected by Christmas day you should aim to get your booster shot before the 11th of December.

This does not guarantee that you will not catch or transmit Coronavirus but minimises your chance of developing symptoms.

Receiving a flu jab will further decrease your chance of falling ill during the winter.

Symptoms from receiving a third vaccine dose have been minor in almost all cases.

They are associated with a strong increase in antibodies needed to fight off the virus.

You can book a booster dose if you are in one of the eligible groups and if your second dose was five months ago.

The NHS will contact you when it is your turn to be vaccinated and provide a set ofoptions for vaccination centres near you.

The prioritised group for the third jab rollout is people with a naturally higher risk from the coronavirus.

This includes the over 40 crowd alongside anyone who is clinically vulnerable due to a pre-existing condition.

You are classed as clinically vulnerable if you have an existing condition that makes you more susceptible to becoming seriously ill.

This includes lung conditions such as asthma, as well as heart disease and diabetes.

A third dose is also being offered to people who had a weakened immune system at the time of their second dose.

This can occur if you were taking a treatment at the time which required suppressing the immune system, such as organ or bone marrow transplants.

This reduces the number of antibodies the vaccine was able to produce, making the booster shot moreimportant to achieve protection.

The list of conditions that make you eligible for a third dose is not exhaustive, and a specialist might advise you to take one as part of another treatment.

Your booster jab may be from a different manufacturer to the initial vaccines you received.

This is not cause for concern and will not impact the effectiveness of the vaccine.

Less than ten percent of people who received booster jabs in the US told the CDC they were unable to work the next day.

Widespread vaccination also decreases the risk of new strains developing.

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