MILLIONS more Brits can now book their Covid booster online from today as ministers scramble to supercharge the nation’s immunity.
Health chiefs have cut the gap between second and third doses from six to three months.
In a bid to speed up rollout, the NHS will allow adults to secure their booster slot a month in advance.
It means all over-40s who had their second jab earlier than October 8 can now nab a vaccine appointment on the national booking service from today.
Officials said it will gradually open up to younger Brits later in the month.
Health bosses have pledged to offer booster doses to all adults by the end of January in a bid to tackle the Omicron variant threat.
NHS chief executive Amanda Pritchard said: “The biggest and most successful vaccination drive in health service history is entering its most complex phase and is continuing at speed in the run-up to Christmas.
“On the anniversary of the first vaccine in the world, the latest update from the NHS means an additional seven million people aged 40 and over will be able to book in for their life-saving booster and will be invited two months on from their second dose, a month in advance of becoming eligible.
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“There is a lot we do not know about the Omicron variant but experts believe that even if existing vaccines are less effective they will give protection.
“So I would urge anyone eligible and invited to come forward as soon as possible, and to keep checking for appointments in their area.”
All eligible adults can now book their life-saving booster jab two months (61 days) after their second dose using the NHS national booking system.
It means they can then get their top-up in protection three months (91 days) on from their second dose.
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There are almost 3,000 vaccination sites across the country, with an additional 300 pharmacies coming online in recent weeks as the programme ramps up.
Hundreds of hospitals are already jabbing their staff and have now been asked to vaccinate other local NHS workers, eligible patients, and social care staff as well as the programme expands
Around 30 hospitals are already offering jabs to the public through the national booking service with more set to open.
Health Secretary Sajid Javid said: “We are boosting our booster programme to get more jabs in arms more quickly and from today, millions of people over the age of 40 in England will be able to pre-book their booster jab two months after their second dose, a month ahead of them becoming eligible for their top up vaccine.
“We are halving the gap that people have to wait to get their booster to three months – prioritising those most at risk of serious illness and strengthening our collective defences in light of the Omicron variant, as this virus goes on the advance this winter."
It comes as the spread of Omicron could force Boris Johnson to trigger Plan B within days, prompting fears that Christmas could be left in chaos for a second year.
Scientists yesterday said the new Covid strain seems to be three times more infectious than previous variants.
And they revealed that up to 1,000 Brits each day could now be catching the highly contagious form of the virus — with new cases doubling every three days.
Grim plans to slow the progress of the variant are now being war-gamed by Downing Street — including ordering Brits to work from home once more.
Football and music fans could also be required to show vaccine passports to enter crowded venues.
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