VULNERABLE Brits are set to get another Covid booster this spring, health chiefs have confirmed.
The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has advised that an additional jab be offered to specific groups in spring 2023.
The vaccine will protect vulnerable Brits throughout the summer as they wait for another booster programme to be rolled out later this year.
Covid jabs have helped put an end to lockdowns and have protected millions of Brits.
But health chiefs have said that people are still falling sick with the virus.
Dr Mary Ramsay, head of immunisation at the UK Health Security Agency, said: “Covid-19 is still circulating widely, and we have recently seen increases in older people being hospitalised."
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She urged people at high risk of becoming severely ill with the virus to come forward once the booster programme starts.
"Do not become complacent," she said.
Office for National Statistics figures on Covid infections from the end of last month suggest that cases in the UK have continued to rise, especially in England and Wales.
However, they still remain lower than they were at the start of the year.
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Meanwhile, figures published by the government last week indicate the cases are highest in care homes.
Who is eligible for a spring booster?
You'll be able to claim a dose in a couple months time if you're:
- an adult aged 75 years and over;
- a residents in a care home for older adults; or
- immunosuppressed and aged five years and over
If you're part of one of these vulnerable groups, you'll have to wait six months after your previous dose to get the spring booster, the JCVI said.
NHSE is set to provide further operational details on the programme in due course.
The committee also confirmed which vaccines health professionals can use this spring.
- Pfizer-BioNTech bivalent
- Moderna bivalent
- Sanofi/GSK monovalent (beta variant)
- Novavax monovalent (wild-type variant) – but only when alternative products are not considered clinically suitable
Which vaccine you're offered will depend on your age and supply in your local area.
The JCVI noted that Children under 12 will be offered a children’s formulation of the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine.
Health chiefs confirmed earlier this year that vaccines for healthy people will be wound down as the nation moves away from its emergency response to Covid.
People under 50 were urged to come forward for a last chance at a booster jab last month.
More than 15 million over-50s received their autumn booster vaccine, thanks to the efforts of the Sun’s Jabs Army campaign.
Flu and Covid vaccines also surged thanks to the Sun's Do The Double drive – which received praise from health ministers.
Professor Wei Shen Lim, chair of the JCVI’s COVID-19 Committee, said: “Vaccination remains the best way to protect yourself against COVID-19 and the spring booster programme provides an opportunity for those who are at highest risk of severe illness to keep their immunity topped up.
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“This year’s spring programme will bridge the gap to the planned booster programme in the autumn, enabling those who are most vulnerable to be well protected throughout the summer," he added.
While Covid is still circulating, newer variants have proved to be milder, causing cold and flu like symptoms.
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