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Yesterday (29th November), changes to the covid-19 vaccine programme were announced in light of the new Omicron variant.

Please note that the changes have not come into effect yet. We are expecting updates on how this will be rolled out in the next two weeks and will of course share new information with you as we get it.

What has been announced?

With a new variant – named Omicron – having been detected and the first cases reported in the UK, changes will be made to offer people more protection against the illness. In particular, the booster plan has been accelerated and will be opened up to all adults.

  • Everyone aged 18 and over will be eligible for a booster jab.
  • The gap between second dose and booster will be reduced from 6 months to 3 months.
  • Healthy 12-15-year-olds will be offered a second jab, twelve weeks after their first.
  • Immunosuppressed people will be eligible for a booster 3 months after their third shot.

Until then protocol for this new eligibility has been confirmed, our city-wide programme will continue to vaccinate people under the current rules – booster for over 40s at 6 months (bookable at 5 months), and a single dose for 12-15-year-olds.

We would urge people to not attempt to book an appointment or visit a walk-in clinic based on the planned changes until they have gone live. Patients who go to walk-ins or pop-ups early will be turned away.

Getting vaccinated under the current rules

Currently, everyone aged 16 and above can get two jabs, with those over 40 eligible for a booster shot after 6 months. Healthy children aged 12 to 15 can receive one shot, and those in the same age group with health conditions may be offered a second.

Appointments and walk-in clinics are offering thousands of jabs in locations all over Newcastle.

Visit the Newcastle City Council website for the latest options and availability.

Special Walk-in clinic for 12-15-year olds on Saturday 4th December

From this Saturday, 4th December, the Grainger Market in Newcastle City Centre will host a special walk-in service for 12-15-year-olds to get vaccinated.

When: Every Saturday until Jan 2022 (excluding bank holidays) 10am-5pm.
Where: Grainger Market (in between Oliver’s café and Pumphreys coffee, NE1 5QF).
Who: Anyone aged 12+ who is eligible for a vaccine (first doses only for healthy 12-15 until guidance changes).
How: No appointment needed, walk into Grainger Market. If you are under 16, please bring a parent/guardian with you if possible.

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