People receiving their Covid vaccine will be following new guidance as the NHS is ramping up its mammoth booster effort even further.

In an advert which aired on ITV on Tuesday evening, England’s chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty said every adult “needs” to get a booster jab in the face of the “highly infectious” variant.

He told viewers: “Boosters give you the best possible protection against the virus and should significantly reduce your risk of serious illness and hospitalisation.”

When can over 18s book booster jab?

The NHS national booking system opened up to all over 18s on Wednesday, and while people are eligible for a booster three months after their second vaccine they can book after two months.

It marks the NHS meeting its objective to offer every eligible adult a chance to book a booster before the New Year.

What is the new Covid vaccine guidance?

People receiving the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines have previously been asked to wait for 15 minutes before leaving the vaccination centre.

This was because the rate of serious allergic reactions (anaphylaxis) reported after these 2 vaccines is slightly higher (around 5 to 10 per million doses) than after other vaccines (normally 1 per million).

As the booster programme is accelerated due to the Omicron variant and given the low rate of allergic reactions the 15-minute waiting time will now be suspended.

The change has been recommended by the Chief Medical Officer and is supported by the Medicines Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI).

New guidance when you book your booster jab

The NHS website reads: “If you have a history of allergies, particularly to other vaccines, or if you had an immediate reaction after your previous doses, you may be advised to stay for the full 15 minutes. Please make sure you tell the vaccination centre. Note that a family history of allergies (or even anaphylaxis) is not a risk factor.

“Please also tell them if you have previously fainted following vaccination.

“Otherwise you will be able to leave the centre straight after your vaccine as long as you feel okay. You must not drive for 15 minutes after the vaccine – this is because of the risk of fainting.”

For more information visit the government website.