The UK Health Security Agency has published interim advice fleshing out how it expects its Covid-19 booster autumn vaccination programme to work.
The agency, one of the two bodies that have replaced Public Health England, has reiterated that, rather than widescale autumn vaccination programme we saw in 2021, boosters this autumn will be targeted at more vulnerable adults and frontline social care and health workers.
The advice, from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), is that, from autumn 2022, a Covid-19 vaccine should be offered to:
- residents in a care home for older adults and staff
- frontline health and social care workers
- all those 65 years of age and over
- adults aged 16 to 64 years who are in a clinical risk group
Professor Wei Shen Lim, chair of Covid-19 vaccination on the JCVI, said: “We have provided interim advice on an autumn booster programme for 2022 so that the NHS and care homes are able to start the necessary operational planning, to enable high levels of protection for more vulnerable individuals and frontline healthcare staff over next winter.
Covid boosters for workers
“As we continue to review the scientific data, further updates to this advice will follow. Throughout the pandemic, evidence has clearly shown that Covid-19 has disproportionately affected those in older age groups, residents in care homes for older adults, and those with certain underlying health conditions, particularly those who are severely immunosuppressed.
“The JCVI will continue its on-going 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.
“The committee will announce its final plans for the autumn programme, including further detail on the definitions of clinical risk groups, in due course,” professor Wei Shen Lim added.