Across the UK, people with MS who’ve already been fully vaccinated are being offered a COVID-19 booster jab.
The NHS will get in touch to arrange your vaccine appointment, or remind you to book one. You might be invited to have the annual flu jab at the same time.
The booster jab rollout started in September 2021. Because of the Omicron variant of coronavirus, the booster programme has been sped up in all UK nations.
How soon will I get the booster jab?
You can have the COVID-19 booster at least 3 months after you had your primary doses. How you arrange your jab depends on where you are in the UK.
Wherever you are, if you have MS you should be contacted by the NHS to arrange your booster. But you might also be able to go without booking - at a “walk in” centre - or book online up to a month in advance of the 3 month due date.
Why do we need booster jabs?
A booster could help keep up the protection that vaccines give against COVID-19, which decreases over time. That extra protection could be particularly important as we go into the winter months.
What about the third dose of the vaccine?
Some people with MS were offered a third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in late 2021 because they were severely immunosuppressed when they had the first or second jab. It's sometimes called a "third primary dose". This isn’t part of the booster jab scheme. And having MS itself doesn’t mean you’ll have a weakened immune system. But some treatments might have that effect, for varying lengths of time.
The idea of this third jab was to help people get a bigger immune response to the vaccine – in the way most people get with only 2 doses.
The Spring 2022 booster programme
From mid March 2022 the governments of Scotland, Wales and England began inviting people from certain groups to have a booster jab to protect them from getting a severe case of COVID-19. In Northern Ireland this should happen through April and May. The booster will be offered to:
- all people over 75
- people who live in care homes
- people classed as 'most vulnerable', including those who are immunosuppressed or who have weakened immune systems
People in this third group include those who needed to have a 'third primary dose' of the vaccine in late 2021.
We updated this news story on 22 March 2022 to reflect the rollout of the Spring booster programme.