Who is eligible for a Covid-19 recall?

The rollout of Covid-19 boosters is to be extended to people aged 40 to 49 in a bid to ease the pressure on the NHS during the winter, health officials have announced.

The decision was approved after the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunization (JCVI) recommended that all adults over 40 be offered a third injection of an mRNA vaccine six months after their second dose. The government’s vaccine watchdog has also allowed adolescents between the ages of 16 and 17 to receive a second vaccine.

JCVI Chairman Professor Wei Shen Li said in a televised Downing Street briefing this morning that UK Health Security Agency data showed 93% protection against symptomatic illnesses in those over 50 who had received a third vaccine since the start of the booster rollout in September.

In a statement released after experts gave the go-ahead for the over 40s to get the vaccines as well, Health Secretary Sajid Javid said: “I have asked the NHS to prepare to offer a vaccine to people eligible as soon as possible. ”

More than 12.5 million people in the UK had received a complementary jab as of November 14, according to government data.

Who can currently get a callback?

The NHS website said booster shots are available for people “most at risk for Covid-19 who received a second dose of a vaccine at least six months ago,” including:

  • People aged 50 and over
  • People who live and work in nursing homes
  • Front-line health and social service workers
  • People aged 16 and over with a health condition that puts them at high risk of becoming seriously ill from Covid-19
  • Persons aged 16 and over who are primarily caring for a high-risk person
  • People 16 years of age and older who live with someone who is more likely to get infections, such as someone who is HIV positive, has had a transplant or is under certain treatments for cancer, lupus or rheumatoid arthritis.
  • People who are pregnant and in an eligible group may also receive a booster dose
Should the wait between jabs be reduced?

JCVI said a six-month interval between the second and third dose of the vaccine provides long-lasting protection.

However, Boris Johnson “lobbied vaccine officials” last month by suggesting that this deadline should be reduced to “let people have boosters within six months of their second dose,” the Times said. Former health secretary Jeremy Hunt also asked how “hard and fast” the six-month rule must be.

The government announced at the end of October that the clinical guidelines had been updated to allow those most exposed to the virus to receive a third vaccine after five months, “to allow flexibility” in the booster program.

And The Observer reported yesterday that the rule could be relaxed further, in “a major change in the vaccination schedule.” Ministers reportedly considered “flouting advice” from JCVI to allow all people over 50 and others at high risk to receive booster shots “a month earlier than policy current, in an effort to help prevent the NHS from becoming overwhelmed. This winter”.

A source told the newspaper: “JCVI’s policy has not changed. They recommend six months. But it is an orientation. We don’t have to follow that.

How can I reserve my jab?

Eligible individuals can book an appointment online at a vaccination center or pharmacy, or visit a walk-in site without an appointment. Alternatively, they can wait to be contacted by their doctor’s office or other local NHS services.

Anyone who has had a positive Covid-19 test must wait four weeks from the date of receipt of the result before booking.

What vaccine will I receive?

All third doses will be a full dose of Pfizer vaccine or a half dose of Moderna vaccine, regardless of the type (s) they received for their first and second dose.

However, “some people may be offered a booster dose of the Oxford / AstraZeneca vaccine if they cannot receive the Pfizer / BioNTech or Moderna vaccine,” according to the NHS website.

The JCVI has advised a “preference” for the Pfizer vaccine, with the latest research suggesting that it offers “almost complete protection” against the virus when deployed as a booster vaccine, the Times said.

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