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How to get your booster this week (and help stop another lockdown)

Finding it hard to find an appointment? Here are a few pointers for getting a third vaccine in the UK

Written by
Time Out editors

No one wants another lockdown. It’s Christmas, for Christ’s sake (literally). We all want to keep partying, keep our hospitality industry thriving and generally just have a jolly good time. But Covid is back on the rise. The UK is currently experiencing similarly high numbers of cases to last January, and the Omicron variant – thought to have greater transmissibility than previous strains – is surging.

We all want to have a fab Chrimbo without hospitals being overwhelmed and thousands of people dying. So what’s the best way to stop the spread of Omicron (and Covid in general)? Well, it’s simple: get your booster. An early analysis by UK scientists last week showed that having three vaccine doses prevents around 75 percent of people from getting any coronavirus symptoms. Vaccines not only make you less likely of dying from Covid, but they also make you less contagious if you do get it. 

While many people (mostly older and/or those with pre-existing conditions) will already have had their booster jab, it’s only in the past few days that the third vaccine has been made more widely available. By the end of the year, the government has said it wants to have offered a third dose to all UK adults.

But it can be difficult to know exactly who is eligible for a booster, and where you can get one. So here it is, plain and simple: how to get your third shot in the UK this week.

Use the NHS Covid vaccination site. It’s currently a little slow due to high demand, but this website lets anyone over the age of 30 book a vaccine appointment. It’s due to be expanded to include all over-18s on Wednesday (December 15). Leave it open in a background tab on your laptop, and wait for the queue to whittle down. 

Book a vaccine slot through a GP. If you’re eligible, you can try to book a slot at a pharmacy or vaccination centre through your local GP. This is the simplest and most convenient way of getting the third jab.

Go to a walk-in centre. You may have to be prepared to wait, but there are plenty of vaccination centres around that do not require a booking. This NHS website shows which walk-in centres are near you.

And if you’ve already booked your slot? There’s still plenty else you can do to slow Omicron. Wear a mask, get tested regularly and certainly don’t listen to any cretinous anti-vaxxers – all of that will help give us a better chance of having a lovely, lockdown-free Christmas in 2021.

Worried about which restrictions might be next? Here’s everything we know about ‘Plan C’.

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