This week sees a new phase begin in the Covid-19 vaccination programme, as people aged 40-49 become eligible for their booster dose and 16-17-year-olds can get their second dose.

People can book their vaccinations through the National Booking Service, either online or by calling 119, or using local booking systems which some GP Practices have used since vaccinations began.

Boosters are now available to anyone aged over 40 years old who had their vaccination at least 182 days ago. These can be booked up to 30 days in advance of becoming eligible.

Second doses are now available to anyone aged over 16. Anyone aged 16 or 17 needs to wait a minimum of 12 weeks from their first dose before they can receive their second dose. Older adults need to wait eight weeks after their first dose.

While many clinics offer walk-in vaccinations, it is strongly recommended that people book appointments to reduce the risk of queueing.

Vaccination teams are now operating at over 50 sites across Derbyshire, while mobile teams are visiting schools to vaccinate 12-15-year-olds, as well as delivering vaccines to care homes and people who are housebound.

William Jones, Deputy Chief Executive of Derbyshire Community Health Services NHS Foundation Trust, is the Senior Responsible Officer for delivering the vaccination programme and he said it was yet another important moment: "The latest scientific advice and Government guidance is that adult should get a Covid-19 booster to maintain their immunity, and this should happen no sooner than 182 days after they have had their second jab.

"We’ve already started delivering the boosters to vulnerable people and those aged over 50, and I'm delighted that we’re now able to also offer it to people aged over 40.

"We're also now offering second doses to 16 and 17-year-olds from 12 weeks after they have had their first dose. This is slightly different to older adults, who need to wait just eight weeks after their first dose, and it's because these younger adults typically have a stronger and longer lasting immune response to the vaccine.”

For more information on how to book, where clinics are on and who is eligible, visit Joined Up Care Derbyshire's Covid Vaccine pages.