Most vulnerable could be offered booster COVID-19 vaccines from September
Millions of people most vulnerable to COVID-19 may be offered a booster vaccination from September to ensure the protection they have from first and second doses is maintained ahead of the winter and against new variants, following interim advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI).
The JCVI’s interim advice is to plan to offer COVID-19 booster vaccines from September 2021, in order to prolong the protection that vaccines provide in those who are most vulnerable to serious COVID-19 ahead of the winter months.
The Government has published its priority list for the COVID-19 booster and annual vaccines as follows:
Stage 1. The following people should be offered a third dose COVID-19 booster vaccine and the annual influenza vaccine, as soon as possible from September 2021:
- adults aged 16 years and over who are immunosuppressed;
- those living in residential care homes for older adults;
- all adults aged 70 years or over;
- adults aged 16 years and over who are considered clinically extremely vulnerable;
- frontline health and social care workers.
Stage 2. The following people should be offered a third COVID-19 booster vaccine as soon as practicable after Stage 1, with equal emphasis on deployment of the influenza vaccine where eligible:
- all adults aged 50 years and over
- all adults aged 16 – 49 years who are in an influenza or COVID-19 at-risk group as outlined in the Green Book
- Adult household contacts of immunosuppressed individuals
The full details are available on the government’s website. Further information about the flu vaccination programme and which category Carers fall into (stage 1 or 2) will be clarified as soon as possible.
The government is working closely with the NHS to ensure that if a booster programme happens it can be deployed rapidly from September. Further details will be set out in due course.
In the meantime, Carers are advised to ensure they have received both Covid-19 vaccinations and notify their GP that they are a Carer to ensure that they are offered the booster vaccine and the flu vaccine.