Vulnerable people and those aged 75 and over will be offered a fourth COVID jab this spring, says Health Secretary Sajid Javid.

It comes after a recommendation by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI).
Immunity from vaccination declines over time and many older adults received their most recent vaccine dose in September or October 2021.
These individuals face a much higher risk from severe COVID-19, the JCVI said.

Therefore, another booster will be recommended for more than seven million people this spring.
Of these, half a million immunosuppressed people are eligible.

Those advised to get a fourth jab in spring are:
• Adults aged 75 years and over
• Residents in a care home for older adults
• Individuals aged 12 years and over who are immunosuppressed, as defined in the COVID-19 healthcare guidance Green Book.

“The JCVI will keep under review whether the booster programme should be extended to further at-risk groups,” Mr Javid said.
People aged over 18 will be given the Moderna or Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, and eligible persons aged between 12 and 17 will be given the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine.

The UK already has enough vaccine doses ordered to cover the booster programme.

The JCVI has provided additional interim advice to ministers ahead of planning for a wider booster programme in autumn, which is likely to include people who are at higher risk of severe COVID-19.
No details on this have emerged yet – but the JCVI believes winter is likely to remain the season when the threat of COVID is the greatest.

Professor Wei Shen Lim, Chair of COVID-19 vaccination on the JCVI, said: “Last year’s booster vaccination programme has so far provided excellent protection against severe COVID-19.

“To maintain high levels of protection for the most vulnerable individuals in the population, an extra spring dose of vaccine is advised ahead of an expected autumn booster programme later this year.
“The JCVI will continue its rolling review of the vaccination programme and the epidemiological situation, particularly in relation to the timing and value of doses for less vulnerable older adults and those in clinical risk groups ahead of autumn 2022.”

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