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Third Covid-19 vaccine for people with severely weakened immune systems

The government has accepted JCVI’s advice to offer a third COVID-19 vaccine to people with severely weakened immune systems.

Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid said:

“Today I have accepted the expert recommendations from the independent Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation to offer a third vaccine dose to people aged 12 and over with severely weakened immune systems as part of their primary schedule following data from trials of those who are immunosuppressed.

We know people with specific conditions that make them particularly vulnerable to COVID-19 may have received less protection against the virus from 2 vaccine doses. I am determined to ensure we are doing all we can to protect people in this group and a third dose will help deliver that.

The NHS will contact people as soon as possible to discuss their needs and arrange an appointment for a third dose where clinically appropriate.

This is not the start of the booster programme – we are continuing to plan for this to begin in September to ensure the protection people have built from vaccines is maintained over time and ahead of the winter. We will prioritise those most at risk to COVID-19, including those who are eligible for a third primary vaccine, for boosters based on the final advice of the JCVI.

COVID-19 vaccines have saved more than 105,000 lives and prevented 24 million infections in England alone. They are building a wall of defence and are the best way to protect people from serious illness. I encourage everybody who is eligible to get their jabs as soon as they can.”

Those eligible for a third dose include people:

  • being treated for acute or chronic leukaemia at the time of vaccination
  • with advanced Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) or Aids
  • who have had a stem-cell transplant in the past two years
  • who have had therapy for a solid-organ transplant in the six months before vaccination
  • who have had immunosuppressive chemotherapy or radiotherapy in the six months before vaccination
  • who have had high doses of corticosteroids in the month before vaccination

Walk-in appointments are taking place at locations across Birmingham and Solihull. These appointments are for first doses and those eligible to receive a second dose (second dose appointments must be at least 8 weeks after the first appointment).