Scotland's booster jab scheme launched this week as part of the country's efforts to prepare for a winter wave of Covid.

It comes after Nicola Sturgeon announced last week that certain groups would receive a third vaccine, referred to as a booster jag, to improve immunity response to the virus as the winter months approach. 

Respiratory illnesses and viruses are generally more common in the winter and more easily spread, which has led to experts warning of potential problems linked to Covid.

Hospitals in general are busiest over winter as a result of illnesses like the flu, meaning wards are often nearer there full capacity. 

It is hoped that the booster jab scheme will help to protect those who are most vulnerable to Covid by boosting their antibodies to fight the virus. 

Here's who is eligible to get a third vaccine and how you can book yours...

Who is eligible for a booster jab in Scotland? 

The following groups are eligible for the booster vaccine in Scotland: 

  • All those over 16 who were initially in one of the nine priority groups, including all individuals aged 16 to 64 with underlying health conditions which put them at higher risk of serious disease and mortality
  • All those over-50
  • Frontline health and care staff

All over-12s who were severely immunosuppressed at the time of their first or second jab, including those with leukeamia, advanced HIV and recent organ transplants, will also receive a third dose of the vaccine, however this is independent from the booster scheme. 

How can I book my booster jab?

Two groups have so far been offered their Covid booster jab:

1. frontline health and social care workers

2. care home residents 

Frontline health and social care workers can now book their booster via the NHS inform website

Meanwhile, care home residents will be offered their booster alongside their flu jab over the coming days and weeks. 

From this week, the booster jabs will be rolled out to adults aged 70 and over and those on the highest risk list. 

During her Covid update on Tuesday September 28, Nicola Sturgeon confirmed people in these groups would be notified of their appointments by either their GP or by letter. 

Remaining eligible groups - all adults over 50, all those aged 16 to 49 with underlying health conditions, adult carers, unpaid and young carers, and adult household contacts of people who are immunosuppressed - will be able to book online from October.