Covid Booster jab rolled out to over 40’s

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has advised that, in addition to those aged over 50 years and at higher risk from coronavirus (COVID-19), all adults aged 40 to 49 years should be offered an mRNA booster, 6 months after their second dose, irrespective of the vaccines given for the first and second doses.

Recent UK and international data have provided early signs of a slight fall in the levels of protection against severe disease from the primary doses, in those who had their initial vaccines a long time ago. Booster vaccines are being offered to eligible groups to help them maintain high levels of protection against hospitalisation, severe illness or dying over the winter.

The vast majority of the UK adult population has received a COVID-19 vaccine since the programme was launched in December 2020 – including 87.9% of the population who have received a first dose and 80% who have received 2 doses.

JCVI has previously advised booster vaccination for all adults aged 50 years and over and those in a COVID-19 at-risk group. The offer has now been broadened to include those aged 40 to 49 years.

Booster vaccination should be with either the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine or the Moderna vaccine, as previously advised. Both of these vaccines are expected to give a good level of extra protection.

The advice comes as the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) publishes the first data on booster vaccine effectiveness in the UK. The analysis shows that people who take up the offer of a booster vaccine increase their protection against symptomatic COVID-19 infection to over 90%. Protection against more severe disease is expected to be even higher.

Following 2 doses of the vaccine – as yet – there is no robust evidence of a decline in protection against severe COVID-19 (hospitalisation and deaths) in those aged under 40. JCVI will continue to closely review all available data to develop further advice in due course.

If you are aged between 40 – 49 years and it has been 6 months since your  2nd vaccination you can book your booster vaccine online or find your local walk in centre. 

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