Ministers have accepted expert advice which will see people with severely weakened immune systems offered a third jab before a wider ‘booster’ vaccination programme is launched.
Health Secretary Sajid Javid emphasised that the third shot recommended by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) is intended to ensure that people with weak immune systems have the same level of immune response as most people generate from two jabs.
He said it was based on trial data around immunosuppressed people and is not part of the proposed booster programme which will cover many more people.
“The NHS will contact people as soon as possible to discuss their needs and arrange an appointment for a third dose where clinically appropriate,” he said.
Mr Javid said that ministers and officials are continuing to develop plans for the booster programme to begin this month “to ensure the protection people have built up from vaccines is maintained over time and ahead of the winter. We will prioritise those most at risk to COVID-19, including those who are eligible for a third primary vaccine, for boosters based on the final advice of the JCVI.”