Care home workers are being urged to get boosted with only a third having currently taken up the option.
The call came as a Vivaldi study by the University of Birmingham and UCL shows that having a Pfizer booster increased antibody response by up to 12 times, reducing the risk of severe infection.
Minister for Care, Gillian Keegan said: “Our fantastic social care workforce have shown time and time again during this pandemic the lengths they will go to deliver high-quality care in the most challenging circumstances – showing true dedication and professionalism – and I can’t thank them enough for all their hard work.
“We are calling on them to step up once again to come forward and protect themselves and those around them by getting boosted now, giving those they care for maximum protection over the winter. We’re all in this together – please play your part.”
NHS England has requested vaccination centres offer priority access for frontline staff, including unpaid carers and social care staff, which includes access to queue management and priority lines.
Staff may be asked to show a valid ID for priority access.
Data published by the UK Health Security Agency shows vaccine effectiveness against symptomatic infection is substantially reduced against Omicron with just two doses over time, but a third dose boosts protection back up to over 70%.
99% of older-adult care homes have now been visited to offer booster vaccinations to residents and staff. The government said the final 1% will be visited by 24 December subject to no further COVID-19 outbreak within those care homes.