The month in COVID on November 2021

The month in numbers

Omicron variant

  • Boosters for everyone aged 18+ (it was previously 40+)
  • Boosters 3 months after 2nd doses (it was previously 6 months)
  • Boosters for severely immunosuppressed people 3 months after their 3rd doses
  • 2nd doses for children aged 12–15
Warning callout explaining that NHS vaccination services have not yet implemented the JCVI recommendations of 29 Nov 2021.

Face coverings and self-isolation advice


  • We added a video (produced by my colleagues) to the page about vaccinations for children aged 12–15.
  • We updated our information for people with severely weakened immune systems once they were able to get a 3rd doses (which is different to a standard booster dose) via the ‘Book a coronavirus vaccination’ and ‘Find a walk-in vaccination site’ services.
  • We celebrated once people aged 16–17 were able to get a 2nd dose because it meant we could remove all references to the awkward 17 years and 9 months age limit. This had previously been in place because people who were 3 months from turning 18 had been able to get a 2nd dose.
  • ‘Book a coronavirus vaccination’ introduced advance booking for booster doses so that people eligible for this dose could book appointments up to 1 month before the date they were able to get it. At the time this meant you could book an appointment 5 months after your 2nd dose and the appointment would be 6 months after your 2nd dose.
  • Initially, only people aged 50+ could take advantage of advance booking but this was extended to frontline health and care workers soon afterwards.
  • Eligibility for boosters was extended to all people aged 40+.
  • And finally, following a minor change to COVID-19: the green book, chapter 14a we updated information so that children and young people who are not in high-risk groups and who test positive for COVID should wait 12 weeks before receiving a vaccination. The equivalent period for adults and children and young people who are in high-risk groups is 4 weeks.

People at higher risk from COVID

What we’re doing next month

  • More Omicron responses, including changes to vaccine eligibility.
  • Publishing new information about COVID treatments and how to access them.
  • And we’ll no doubt be updating content as the clinical advice and health policy for COVID-19 changes.




Lead product manager at NHS Digital. South London resident.

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James Higgott

James Higgott

Lead product manager at NHS Digital. South London resident.

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