Coronavirus (COVID-19) booster vaccines may be available from September 2021

Coronavirus (COVID-19) booster vaccines may be available from September 2021

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has published interim advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) on the requirements of a potential coronavirus (COVID-19) booster vaccination programme for Winter 2021–2022. The advice follows a request from the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care. DHSC has welcomed this advice on who to prioritise for the next dose of the vaccine and pending finalisation, individuals may be offered a booster from September 2021. The Welsh Minister for Health and Social Services, Eluned Morgan, has acknowledged that the interim advice has been published as the Welsh Government announces the move to phase three of its coronavirus vaccination programme.

The JCVI’s advice states that a booster jab should be offered to various groups in two stages. The first stage involves the following individuals being offered a third dose of the coronavirus vaccine and influenza vaccine as soon as possible from September 2021:

• adults aged 16 and over who are immunosuppressed

• individuals living in residential care homes for older adults

• all adults aged 70 years of over

• adults aged 16 years and over who are considered clinically extremely vulnerable

• frontline health and social care workers

The second stage involves the following individuals being offered a coronavirus vaccine as soon as possible after stage one, with equal emphasis on also receiving the influenza vaccine:

• all adults aged 50 years and over

• all adults aged 16 to 49 years who are in an influenza or coronavirus at-risk group as outlined in the Green Book

• adult household contacts of immunosuppressed individuals

The Local Government Association has welcomed the potential booster vaccination programme, stating ‘any decision on offering a booster jab later this year, to protect our most vulnerable from variants and flu ahead of winter, will be supported by councils and their directors of public health in our collective national effort to end the pandemic’.

The JCVI’s interim advice can be viewed here.

Sources:

• Most vulnerable could be offered booster COVID-19 vaccines from September

• JCVI interim advice on a potential coronavirus (COVID-19) booster vaccine programme for winter 2021 to 2022

• Written Statement: COVID-19 Vaccination – JCVI announcement on Phase 3

• LGA responds to interim advice on how most vulnerable could be offered COVID-19 booster vaccine

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