People aged 75 and over, the immunosuppressed and those living in care homes will be offered a Covid-19 booster vaccine this spring.

Health secretary Sajid Javid said the jab will help those at the highest risk of serious illness maintain a high level of protection against the virus.

The NHS in England will offer people the jab from around six months after their last dose.

In a statement, Mr Javid said: "I have accepted the advice from the independent Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) to offer, from spring, an additional COVID-19 booster jab.

"Following the JCVI’s advice, I have asked the NHS to prepare to offer those eligible a vaccine from around six months after their last dose and they will set out further details in due course.

“We know immunity to COVID-19 begins to wane over time. That’s why we’re offering a spring booster to those people at higher risk of serious COVID-19 to make sure they maintain a high level of protection.

"It’s important that everyone gets their top-up jabs as soon as they’re eligible."

According to the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), most of the UK’s oldest adults received their last vaccine in September or October last year.

The vaccines used in the spring programme will be the 50mcg Moderna vaccine or 30mcg Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine for adults aged 18 and over.

For anyone eligible aged 12 to 18, a 30 mcg Pfizer/BioNTech dose is being offered.

Further details on the spring booster are due to be set out shortly.