A Covid vaccine winter booster programme will be introduced later in the year, as the Government prepares for a rise in infection rates. The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has now made a series of suggestions for the distribution of booster jabs over the coming months.
Vaccines should be offered to all adults over 50 years old, the JCVI advised.
All frontline health workers, as well as care home residents, should also be prioritised, it said.
Everyone over 16 years old with an underlying medical condition could be given a booster jab, as well as all household contacts of immunosuppressed patients.
The vaccine dose should, however, only be offered at least six months after the second dose.
The vaccine booster programme should begin as soon as operationally practical, said the JCVI.
While it might be that the initial vaccine course provides enough protection against coronavirus, it’s best to take a precautionary approach and move forward with the winter booster scheme, it said.
There is also a preference for Pfizer vaccines to be used in the winter scheme.
Alternatively, a half dose of the Moderna vaccine might be offered.
The UK Government’s JCVI has suggested that booster vaccines be offered to everyone that’s more at risk from serious disease. These include:
- Those living in residential care homes for older adults
- All adults aged 50 years or over
- Frontline health and social care workers
- All those aged 16 to 49 years with underlying health conditions that put them at higher risk of severe COVID-19
- Adult household contacts of immunosuppressed individuals
More to follow…