Today was another chaotic day for the NHS’s Covid booster program. Medicare-eligible over-40s couldn’t book appointments until Christmas Eve.

As part of No10’s campaign to eradicate the Omicron variant, people in this age group that had received their second dose no less than three weeks ago were encouraged to make their appointments for their next jabs.

MailOnline photos show that some people have not been able to get a vital boost via the Health Service’s Website for at least two additional weeks.

One man in his 40s, living in Hemel Hempstead, was unable to get his booster until December 24 — the earliest available appointment in his area. 

NHS England was approached for comment. 

The rollout of the booster program was fraught with problems, as people below 40 received boosters against NHS guidance.

Numerous over-40s were denied online appointments, forcing officials in the health services to take action and end clinics refusing any person who may be eligible.

The NHS 's Covid booster drive has been thrown into yet more chaos today with eligible over-40s unable to book their appointments until Christmas Eve

With over-40s who are eligible for Covid, the NHS’s Covid booster program has become even more chaotic today. They can no longer book their appointments up until Christmas Eve.

Scores of Britons queue at St Thomas' Hospital in London this morning to receive the Covid booster jab

Today, scores of Britons were waiting in long lines at London’s Saint Thomas’ Hospital to get the Covid booster jab.

Omicron can be beat by boosters and the chance of becoming ill is cut down to 75% 

Booster Covid jabs offer up to 75 per cent protection against mild disease caused by the super Omicron variant, official UK Government analysis revealed tonight.

Experts believe that the three-dosage regimen will provide significantly greater immunity to severe illnesses and even death caused by this highly evolved strain.

According to real-world research, the effectiveness of symptomatic diseases in people who have had their second dose for more than 3 months could be less than 40%.

But officials stress that even two vaccines should still offer high protection against severe illness, in the most promising sign yet that the incoming wave of hospital admissions and deaths will not surpass previous peaks.  

UK Health Security Agency examined 581 Omicron-positive people and compared them to a group that had not tested positive for Delta.  

The Pfizer booster is believed to provide 70-75 percent protection against mild Omicron illnesses, regardless if the original vaccine was used. Delta only provides 90 per cent.

Pfizer could provide just 37% protection for three months after two doses, compared with Delta’s 60%. 

AstraZeneca gave almost the same protection with two doses.

But the scientists caution that data for AstraZeneca was less reliable due to the fact the vaccine was restricted in some age groups and typically used at the very start of the initial vaccine rollout in vulnerable people.

Critics have criticised the rollout as being slow and not reaching the Government’s goal of 500,000 per day. 

Staff and volunteers are currently dishing out around 380,000 a day, with 469,479 third doses given out yesterday according to official data.

Matthew Lesh, Head of Research at Adam Smith Institute, the thinktank described the booster campaign to be the best way for the UK to fight Omicron. He also argued that the restrictions on ‘Plan B’ won’t stop the rising tide.  

He said that failure to expedite the booster program will result in lost lives and destruction of livelihoods.

“The new restrictions, guidance, and penalties are going to cause economic damage in the billions.”

“It is a simple matter of course to get boosters in arms as soon as possible. A national war effort is necessary. 

The online booking system is currently only available to over-40s. However, plans are underway to make the program accessible to everyone next week. 

M. Lesh said that the booking system had to have been open for all ages, just as Prime Minister stated would be happening weeks ago. 

“Anyone with a history of more than 3 months after their last dose should have the ability to get a third right away. 

“There is no more supply issue, it’s all logistics. It can be done.”  

In defiance of NHS guidance, GPs have been texting 30-somethings to invite them to schedule appointments. 

Some say they could get booked in as quickly as 36 hours.  

Everyone who received their second shot three months ago may be eligible to receive a walk-in booster.

Even if they are older than six months, those who have been vaccinated in the past will be allowed to continue their vaccinations through normal channels.

Although there is concern that younger people could be pushed ahead of the older ones, experts say it will protect the public and increase general immunity. 

The current rate of the booster rollout means Britain will miss the deadline to offer every eligible adult a Covid booster shot by the end January, instead hitting this target by 10 February

Britain won’t be offering every eligible adult Covid booster shots by January 31st due to the current pace of booster rollout. This means they will instead miss this deadline by February 10th.

According to NHS data, many older age groups who have been eligible to get a Covid booster since September still have double digit percentage figures of people who are yet to get a third dose. Yesterday, the NHS online booking system for Covid boosters was opened up to the over 40s. 81 per cent of people aged 40-to-49 have yet to have a booster.

NHS data indicates that people in their 40s and 50s who have received a Covid boost since September have double-digit numbers of eligible patients who still need to be given a third dose. The NHS opened yesterday the online ordering system for Covid boosters to people over 40. 71% of the people between 40-50 have never had a booster. 

8 million 40-year-olds may be eligible to receive boosters during the 3 months period between jabs 

The news of chaos at the booster drive is coming as experts demand more boosters for England. MailOnline reports that over 8million people under 40 could receive boosters today if they book with the NHS. 

An estimated 8.2million adults aged 18 to 39 received their second jab between September 1 and September 1, which means they could get boosters after the 3-month waiting period.  

Official invitations are still sent by NHS officials to patients. People who have been jabbed in the early stages can be still vaccinated. There are many walk-in clinics available throughout the country.

However, critics claim that opening the online booking portal for those under 40 would speed up the process. 

Nearly 18million English citizens are eligible under the three-month waiting rule, which allows for boosters. However, they have yet to get one. 

According to NHS data, approximately 36 per cent of the population in England have received a Covid booster, but this varies widely across age demographics. 

People aged between 70-79 were the most likely to receive their booster, with 86 per cent having done so as of December 8, based on National Immunisation Management System (NIMS) population estimates used by the NHS. 

In terms of sheer numbers of boosters, the 60-69 age demographic recorded the most, with 4,398,841 third jabs as of yesterday, but this is only 68 per cent of this group. 

Ruth Rankine, director of primary care at the NHS Confederation, told The Guardian: ‘While the NHS’s focus remains on offering boosters to eligible people aged over 40 before the national booking system opens up more widely next week, we are aware that some primary care sites have begun to offer boosters to eligible people aged under 40 where they have spare appointments that have not been filled by the current cohorts and where they have sufficient vaccine stock.

“The National Guidance on the Difference Between Doses is Clear” and people are advised to wait until they contact the NHS before getting their booster shots.

The Royal College of GPs chair Professor Martin Marshall supported the decision and suggested that family physicians could trust to provide vaccines for younger patients if necessary. 

He said, “We have to put as many jabs as we can into as many arm as fast as possible.” 

‘It’s important that at-risk groups are prioritised so people should wait to be contacted before trying to book their booster.

‘However, it’s possible that some regions will be going at a quicker pace than others for varying reasons to do with capacity and workload and GPs will use their judgment in the best interests of their patients and the wider public’s health.

‘GPs and their teams are working incredibly hard to deliver the vaccination programme, as well as continuing to deliver essential care and services to patients, and we’d urge anyone who is offered the booster to have it.’

Covid vaccinations are not new to the younger age groups. 

Similar events occurred in the first vaccine rollout. These were usually at walk-in centers and where local providers had excess supply. 

After NHS chiefs announced a clampdown on booster jab chaos last night, telling hospitals to stop accepting eligible Britons, the latest stumble in the booster campaign is the following:  

Numerous people have complained via social media about being wrongly sent off after they booked their appointments online.

According to them, they were told that certain clinics could not give out jabs due to outdated guidance. This was despite the fact that boosters are now available after only three months.  

Representatives from NHS said that the NHS would vaccinate most people at highest risk of contracting coronavirus according to JCVI guidelines. At present, this includes individuals over 40 years old, along with those in need of healthcare and workers.

“Nobody can be refused a appointment for boosters if they have been booked.” People 40 years and older who have not had their last dose in three months may get their booster at walkin centres. 

The majority of over 40s in got their second Covid vaccine by early July with most people aged 30-to-39 getting their second jab by the end of August. This means there are millions of people who are now eligible for a booster

Over 40s received the second Covid vaccine in July. Most 30- to 39-year-olds got their second Covid shot by August. These numbers mean that millions are now eligible to get a booster.

The vast majority of adults and people over 16-years-old have now received their first Covid jab, and the proportion of children aged between 12-to-15 who have got their first vaccine is approaching 50 per cent

The majority of adult and over-16-year-olds have already received their Covid jabs. Children aged 12-15 have seen an increase in their chances of getting their first vaccine.

The latest blow to the beleaguered booster drive came after experts demanded Boris Johnson throw the ‘kitchen sink’ at the rollout.

MailOnline suggests that the number of people aged under 40 getting their second jab within three months could rise.    

Why was the booster effort so slow? 

Covid’s booster campaign for Covid hasn’t seen as much success since its launch in September. 

The reason is that there are far fewer facilities and staff involved in the booster campaigns than in earlier years’ vaccine efforts.

The mass vaccination centers have been replaced with smaller teams at GP practices and pharmacies.  

And despite minister urging people to come forward when they were eligible  people seeking boosters have reported struggling to book jabs or being given appointment slots at inconvenient times or distant locations. 

People also report being refused appointments for boosters due to conflictsing guidance. Staff at certain vaccine centres are still using old guidelines, which required that patients wait six months between each dose. Current guidance now states that the waiting period is three months. 

The rollout is successful in spite of the fact that vaccine supply has not been a problem. 

UK hopes to avoid a devastating Omicron wave. The controversial “Plan B” restrictions that were introduced earlier in the week by the Prime Minister meant to allow as many people as possible to receive an additional jab.  

The announcement of new restrictions, such as working from home guidance, compulsory mask orders, came as studies suggested a third dose of Pfizer’s vaccine — which Britain’s roll-out is reliant on — was able to offer people people substantial protection from Omicron. 

Britain’s booster program began with older people in September. It was initiated after it became apparent that the protection provided by vaccines had waned six months following the last dose.

It was intended to provide additional protection for people ahead of what was expected to be a challenging winter for NHS. 

No10, in response to Omicron’s threat, has promised to give a boost to all 53million adult UK citizens by January 31 and to raise the daily jab rate to 500,000.  

Although the ramp up was launched with much pomp, it has failed to accelerate despite the fact that the booster campaign had been planned well.

It actually performed worse than before ministers promised to give it’steroids’. Instead, it languishes at around 386,000 per day. 

Critics believe that allowing under-40s to book online would speed up the process. 


The above map shows the ten areas that have the most confirmed Omicron cases in England, according to the UK Health Security Agency. West Northamptonshire is the country's hotspot for the mutant strain, although eight in ten areas on the list are in London

According to the UK Health Security Agency, the map above shows the top ten locations with the highest number of Omicron-related cases. Although West Northamptonshire, the nation’s most popular area for this mutant strain is in London, eight of the ten other areas are located in the county.

Others, however, cautioned against such an action. They stated that although the booster campaign was necessary, it would cause chaos and the country should prioritise the people whose immunity is waning. 

Dr Simon Clarke from University of Reading is a cell microbiologist.The government could open up the door to the booster program for adults, allowing people with weakened immunity to take their place.

“It’s better to duplicate the gradual release of boosters and to move through the different age groups as rapidly as possible.   

Which are the new Covid laws in England?


Return to work from home guidance. The guidance will tell people to return to England to work starting Monday, if possible.

Mask for the face

Starting Friday, all public indoor venues will require facemasks. In bars, restaurants, and gyms they will not be needed.

Vaccine passports 

To gain entry to large nightclubs or other venues that host large numbers of people, the NHS Covid card is mandatory. 

All unseated indoor venues that have more than 500 guests, all outdoor unseated venues with over 4,000 attendees and venues with more then 10,000 persons will be subject to this rule. 

One dose of each vaccine will be given to a child who is fully vaccinated. This will still be monitored by the booster program. 

It is also possible to perform a negative flow test on the lateral side. 

Businesses will have time to prepare for this change. 

Get in touch 

Omicron contacts will be instructed to undergo daily coronavirus testing instead of self-isolating. If positive they must be placed in quarantine.