Over-50s who had AZ 'may get Pfizer booster' as experts mull autumn jabs rollout

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has yet to provide clinical advice on the booster programme, which is expected later this month

The NHS is preparing for a booster programme in the autumn
The NHS is preparing for a booster programme in the autumn

People over 50 and the most vulnerable could get a Pfizer jab this autumn as part of a booster programme ahead of the winter months.

Millions of Brits are expected to be offered third Covid jabs to shore up protections against the virus under interim advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI).

The plan, first announced at the end of June, would see the over 70s, the clinically vulnerable, care home residents, and front line NHS and care staff among the first to get a booster.

Over-50s and anyone entitled to a free flu jab would be next in line if the JCVI experts confirm the move in their final advice this month.

It has been suggested that people could be offered the Pfizer vaccine as a booster, regardless of whether they have previously received the Oxford AstraZeneca jab.

But No10 said reports in the Daily Mail that all patients will be offered Pfizer as it is the most effective against the Delta variant were “premature”.

Over 88% of adults have had a first dose of the Covid jab and over 72% are fully jabbed


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A source said the JCVI was yet to provide its clinical advice.

The Department of Health said there was no update to the JCVI’s recommendation earlier this summer.

The initial advice was offered to allow the NHS to prepare in the event that a mass booster programme is needed this autumn.

Vaccine experts believe there is good evidence that jabs can offer protection against Covid for at least six months and will be studying the data to see if boosters are necessary.

The elderly and the most vulnerable received their vaccines earlier this year, meaning they could be in need of a booster if immunity does begin to wane.

Deputy Chief Medical Officer Professor Jonathan Van Tam said at the time: “We want to be on the front foot for COVID-19 booster vaccination to keep the probability of loss of vaccine protection due to waning immunity or variants as low as possible.

“Especially over the coming autumn and winter.”

Unveiling the plans in June, Health Secretary Sajid Javid said: “We welcome this interim advice, which will help us ensure we are ready in our preparations for autumn. We look forward to receiving the committee’s final advice in due course.

“We need to learn to live with this virus. Our first COVID-19 vaccination programme is restoring freedom in this country, and our booster programme will protect this freedom.

“We are working with the NHS to make sure we can rapidly deliver this programme to maintain protection for people in the winter months.”

More than 85 million Covid-19 vaccines have been administered in the UK – with more than 88% of adults having now had a first dose and more 72% getting both doses.


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