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'To maintain protection' | COVID-19: UK Expert Panel Recommends Booster Shots For People Over 50

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation has advised that COVID-19 booster shots be offered to those aged 50 and above, and health care workers.


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The United Kingdom expert advisory panel on Tuesday recommended that a booster dose of a COVID-19 vaccine should be offered to people aged above 50, frontline healthcare workers, people with underlying health conditions, adult carers. The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has advised that booster vaccines be given to those more at risk from serious disease and people who were vaccinated during Phase 1 of the vaccine programme. The panel recommended that people should receive a booster shot six months after they received their second dose of vaccine.

Britain's expert panel has recommended booster shots for adults aged 50 years or above, frontline health and social workers, those living in residential care homes for older adults. The JCVI has also advised booster dose for all those aged 16 to 49 years with underlying health conditions, adult carers and adult household contacts of immunosuppressed individuals. The JCVI has recommended that the booster vaccine dose should be offered six months after receiving the second dose of the COVID vaccine.

JCVI recommends booster shots for ages 50 and above

In its advisory, JCVI noted that people vaccinated early during Phase 1 would have received their second dose about 6 months ago. The JCVI advised that after September 1, it would be an appropriate time for them to receive a booster shot. The JCVI advised a preference for the "Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for the booster programme, regardless of which vaccine brand someone received for their primary doses". It said that recommendation has been offered based on the data from the COV-BOOST trial indicates that the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine provides a strong booster response and is well tolerated as a third dose. 

As an alternative, the JCVI has advised that a half dose of the Moderna vaccine can be offered, with the AstraZeneca vaccine to be offered as an alternative where patients including those with allergies are unable to receive an mRNA vaccine. Professor Wei Shen Lim, Chair of COVID-19 Immunisation for the JCVI, noted that the UK COVID-19 vaccination programme has successfully protected people against hospitalisation and death. He further added that in order to prolong the protection, the expert panel has advised offering booster shots to people.

"The JCVI is advising that a booster dose be offered to the more vulnerable, to maximise individual protection ahead of an unpredictable winter. Most of these people will also be eligible for the annual flu vaccine and we strongly advise them to take up this offer as well", said Wei Shen Lim in the statement.

Image: Pixabay

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