Millions of people in England will be offered a Covid booster jab next week, health officials have announced, as recent estimates show infections have climbed to their highest level this year.
Care home residents will be the first to receive the spring Covid-19 booster vaccine from Monday, with millions more people invited to book an appointment from Wednesday.
About 5 million people will be eligible for a booster until the end of June, including those aged 75 and over and anyone aged five and over who is immunosuppressed. Everyone will be able to book a jab online from 5 April, with the first appointments available from 17 April.
Millions of people will be sent their initial invitations through the NHS app, where they can also book their appointment. Text messages and letters will be sent to those without the app or who are not using it regularly.
The move comes after official UK estimates of Covid-19 last week showed infections in England had climbed to their highest level so far in 2023.
The findings mark the final time regular estimates of coronavirus are being published, as the long-running survey – described by some as the “envy of the world” for its success in tracking the virus – has been halted. Any further monitoring of Covid-19 will be announced after a review to ensure it is cost effective, according to the UK Health Security Agency.