COVID-19 booster vaccination programme
The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has, updated its advice on the COVID-19 vaccine booster programme.
To maintain a high level of protection through the coming winter, the JCVI is advising that booster vaccines be offered to those more at risk from serious disease, and who were vaccinated during phase one of the vaccine programme (priority groups 1 to 9).
- 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, and adult carers
- adult household contacts of immunosuppressed individuals
The JCVI advises that the booster vaccine programme should begin as soon as operationally practical.
The JCVI advises that the Pfizer vaccine be used for the booster programme, regardless of which vaccine brand someone received for their primary doses. This follows data from the COV-BOOST trial that indicates the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine works well as a third dose, and provides a strong booster response.
As an alternative, a half dose of the Moderna vaccine may be offered. Where mRNA vaccines (Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna) cannot be offered, for example due to allergies, the AstraZeneca vaccine may be considered for those who received it previously.
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