The Joint Committee of Vaccinations and Immunisations (JCVI) has reviewed the data available and based on this evidence advised that those who are at higher risk of severe illness should be offered a spring booster.
Those groups are:
– Those aged 75 and over
– Residents in older adult care homes
– Those aged 12 and over and who are severely immunosuppressed. Such as those with underlying health conditions such as chronic leukaemia or lymphoma and those who have had immunosuppressive treatment following an organ transplant or have had radiotherapy or chemotherapy.
In their statement, JCVI said: “These individuals are at higher risk of severe COVID-19, and with the lapse of time, their immunity derived from vaccination may wane substantially before autumn. “Therefore, as a precautionary strategy for 2022, JCVI advises a spring dose, around 6 months after their last vaccine dose.” Data shows that the immune response following the first booster dose is likely to be greater for younger age groups and they are also likely to have had their booster vaccination more recently compared to others. There is also some evidence that, for those who are not vulnerable, a combination of exposure to infection and vaccination may produce a broader immune response.
There are no plans to offer additional boosters to any other group at this stage. As with all stages of the vaccination programme, JCVI monitors the situation and looks at evidence of any new variants. The NHS will be ready to roll out any changes to their guidance.
We know Covid-19 vaccine does not completely stop people from acquiring the infection or from transmitting it to others, but three doses (four for the most vulnerable groups) does significantly reduce the chances of becoming seriously unwell and / or becoming hospitalised. The best way to protect yourself from Covid-19 is ensuring you are up to date with your vaccinations and to remain cautious when mixing in public.
We are expecting a further announcement regarding an autumn booster vaccination programme in the months ahead and will provide information on this as it becomes available.
Appointments can be booked via the national booking system website or by calling 119, or patients can be directed to the NHS website for more information. This should be done for those eligible for the spring booster but also reminding others that it isn’t too late to receive a first, second or first booster dose.