In a bid to fight the Omicron variant, booster doses will now be offered to a wider range of people.
The changes mean that the age range of those able to receive a third dose will be lowered, as well as the time frame between a second and third dose being shortened.
The JCVI has now also recommended severely immunosuppressed people should be offered a fourth dose of the vaccine as a booster. They are currently receiving three jabs.
At her covid press briefing on Monday, Nicola Sturgeon said: “We are already going very fast in the booster programme, we are the most vaccinated part of the UK, we are already trying to step that up.”
Following the changes, Scotland’s Chief Medical Officer Gregor Smith said: “We welcome the further advice from the JCVI on the Covid-19 vaccination programme and confirm Scotland has already started work on its implementation, including the recommendation that boosters can now be given to all adults no less than three months after a second dose.
“Urgent talks with health boards and vaccination partners are underway and further information on the delivery of this advice will follow as soon as possible.”
Professor Wei Shen Lim, from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), said boosters should be provided “early enough before any possible wave” of the new variant, should there be one, to put the country in the “best possible position”.
Who can get a booster dose?
In Scotland, everyone over the age of 18 to 39-year-olds will now be eligible for a third dose of the coronavirus vaccine – not just the over 40s.
In a bid to ensure the greatest protection, those in the older age groups will be called first with other vulnerable groups urged to get their booster as soon as possible.
How has the time frame changed?
The recommended time between a second and third jab has now been reduced to three months.
Previously, it was advised that a six month period should pass before a person receives their booster dose.
However, the JCVI have no shortened this in a bid to tackle the increasingly concerning presence of the Omicron variant.
How to book
You can book your appointment online by visiting the NHS Scotland website here.
If the shorted time frame has passed since a second dose, you will be invited for a booster the same way you were invited for jabs one and two. Whether this be through post or text from NHS inform or a phone call from you GP.
If you believe you should be eligible for a booster dose, you can call the national vaccination helpline on 0800 030 8013 to check if an appointment has been booked for you.
Information about how and when you will be vaccinated is available on our guide to vaccination.
Scots are urged not to call their GP or NHS 24 for vaccination informations.
Other changes to vaccines
There are a number of other changes to the vaccination programme. These include the introduction of second doses for those aged 12-15.
It was earlier advised that young teens receive just one dose of the jab
The JCVI are also advising a fourth dose of the vaccine for immunosuppressed people – those classed as the most vulnerable.
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