The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has announced eligibility for a COVID-19 booster vaccine for autumn 2023
The advice for this autumn is to offer the vaccine to people at high risk of serious disease and who are most likely to benefit from vaccination.
Specifically, the JCVI has advised the following groups people should be offered a COVID-19 booster vaccine this autumn:
• Residents in a care home for older adults
• All adults aged 65 years and over
• People aged six months to 64 years in a clinical risk group
• Frontline health and social care workers
• People aged 12 to 64 years who are household contacts (as defined in the Green Book) of
people with immunosuppression
• People aged 16 to 64 years who are carers and staff working in care homes for older
Further advice on vaccine products for this autumn is expected in the next few weeks. The COVID-19 vaccination programme is now entering its third autumn season. Vaccination
helps to protect against severe illness, hospitalisations, and deaths from COVID-19. The booster is being offered to those at higher risk of severe illness to increase their protection ahead of winter, when respiratory viruses are typically at their peak.
The JCVI has also advised that the autumn programme should complete vaccinations ahead of winter, as protection is highest in the first three months following vaccination. This will help maximise the potential benefits of the vaccine. COVID-19 vaccination for those who have not had any COVID-19 vaccines before should consist of a single dose of COVID-19 vaccine. Eligibility will be the same as the autumn 2023 booster.
Last year’s autumn booster programme ended on the 20 February 2023. Data up to 12 March showed that 73.2% of people aged 65 to 70 years in England had been vaccinated and this increased in older cohorts rising to 83.7% (just under 2.5 million) in those aged over 80 years.
Data from last autumn’s programme showed that those who received a booster were around 53% less likely to be admitted to hospital with COVID-19 in the two to four weeks following vaccination, compared to those who did not receive a booster.
Details of how and when eligible people can access the autumn vaccine will be announced by NHS England in the coming weeks.