Frontline health and social care staff set to be offered a COVID-19 booster from September
Thursday, July 1, 2021
Frontline health and social care staff as well as those over 70 and other vulnerable groups are set to be offered a COVID-19 vaccination booster in the autumn. Boosters aim to ensure protection from COVID-19 is maintained ahead of winter and against new variants.
The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) 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 2-stage programme would take place alongside the annual flu vaccination programme.
The final JCVI advice will be published before September and will take into account the latest epidemiological situation, additional scientific data from trials such as Cov-Boost, real-time surveillance of the effectiveness of the vaccines over time and emerging variants. The final advice could change from the interim advice as further data is analysed.
The JCVI’s interim advice is that a third booster jab is offered to the following groups in 2 stages:
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 to 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
Deputy Chief Medical Officer for England, Professor Jonathan Van-Tam said:
“Where the UK has reached so far on vaccination is truly fantastic. But we need to keep going and finish giving second doses to those remaining adults who have not had them; this is the best thing we can do prevent the disease from making a comeback which disrupts society later in the year.
“Being able to manage COVID-19 with fewer or no restrictions is now heavily dependent on the continued success of the vaccination programme. We want to be on the front foot for COVID-19 booster vaccination to keep the probability of loss of vaccine protection due to waning immunity or variants as low as possible. Especially over the coming autumn and winter.”