Booster jabs to be offered to over-40s ‘as soon as possible’
The Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid has accepted advice to extend the booster jab programme to people aged 40 and over and to offer a second dose to people aged 16 to 17.
In a statement released this morning, Mr Javid said: “Our COVID-19 vaccination rollout has been a phenomenal success, saving countless lives, reducing pressure on the NHS and helping us stop the spread of the virus.
“We are expanding the programme even further and today I have accepted the advice from the independent experts at the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) to extend the additional offer of a booster jab to people aged 40 and over and offer a second dose of a vaccine to all young people aged 16 to 17 as part of the primary vaccination schedule. All four parts of the UK intend to follow the JCVI’s advice.
“I have asked the NHS to prepare to offer those eligible a vaccine as soon as possible.”
His remarks come after the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) advised this morning that, in addition to those aged over 50 years and at higher risk from coronavirus, 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.
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.
They also recommended that all 16 to 17 year olds who are not in an at-risk group should be offered a second dose of the Pfizer vaccine.