Vulnerable people in the UK are to be offered another Covid booster jab this spring, public health bodies have said, as the virus continues to spread at higher levels.
According to the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics, one in 45 people in England, Scotland and Wales had Covid in the week ending February 21, while in Northern Ireland the figure was one in 90. In England, the level of infection is rising, including among people aged 70 and over.
Now the UK’s Joint Committee on Immunization and Immunization (JCVI) has announced plans for a spring booster campaign, which will target people aged five and over, as well as adults aged 75 and over, and older adults who have been vaccinated against Covid-19. Vaccines will be offered. living in care homes.
Dr Mary Ramsay, head of vaccination at the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), urged those offering the vaccine to accept it.
“Covid-19 is still spreading widely, and we’ve recently seen older people being hospitalized,” she said.
“It is important that those most at risk of severe disease do not become complacent and I would encourage all who are eligible to come forward once the booster program begins.”
The announcement comes a month after the NHS ended offering the Covid booster jab to healthy people aged 16 to 49. While early Covid vaccinations are still available for this group, the JCVI has advised that they too should be withdrawn from favor in 2023. More targeted approach.
UKHSA said four vaccines will be available for use in the spring booster campaign including the Pfizer/BioNTech Bivalent Jab and Moderna Bivalent, both of which are mRNA vaccines targeting two different coronavirus variants as well as the protein-based Sanofi Are. /GSK vaccine that targets the beta version, and the Novavax Jab – a protein-based vaccine that targets the original 2020 strain of Covid. The agency said the latter should be used only when alternative jabs are not considered medically appropriate.
The UKHSA said that children under 12 who are eligible for the spring booster will be given the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine.
Prof Wei Shen Lim, JCVI’s COVID-19 committee chair, said: “The spring booster program provides an opportunity for those at highest risk of serious illness to keep their immunity up.
“This year’s spring program will bridge the gap to the booster program planned in autumn, enabling those who are most vulnerable to be well protected over the summer,” he said.