Have you heard that there is a spring 2023 coronavirus (COVID-19) booster programme?
- A spring booster dose will be offered to:
- adults aged 75 years and over
- residents in a care home for older adults
- individuals aged 5 years and over who are immunosuppressed
Eligible individuals will be offered the vaccine around six months after their previous dose and NHS England will confirm operational details for the programme soon.
The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation has advised the following vaccines may be used in the 2023 spring programme:
- Pfizer-BioNTech bivalent
- Moderna bivalent
- Sanofi/GSK monovalent (beta variant)
- Novavax monovalent (wild-type variant) – only for use when alternative products are not considered clinically suitable.
The vaccine offered will depend on a person’s age and local supply considerations. Children below 12 years will be offered a children’s formulation of the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine.
Professor Wei Shen Lim, Chair of the JCVI’s COVID-19 Committee, said of the programme:
“Vaccination remains the best way to protect yourself against COVID-19 and the spring booster programme provides an opportunity for those who are at highest risk of severe illness to keep their immunity topped up.”
Professor Wei stresses importance of programme of protecting the most vulnerable:
“This year’s spring programme will bridge the gap to the planned booster programme in the autumn, enabling those who are most vulnerable to be well protected throughout the summer.”
Dr Mary Ramsay, Head of Immunisation at the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) explains the rise of COVID-19 in vulnerable populations:
“COVID-19 is still circulating widely, and we have recently seen increases in older people being hospitalised.”
Dr Mary further encourages the most vulnerable to take advantage of the Spring programme:
“It is important those at highest risk of severe illness do not become complacent and I would encourage everyone who is eligible to come forward once the booster programme starts.”