UK names age groups eligible for Covid boosters amid Omicron scare
The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has said all adults between 18 and 39 years should receive booster shots, in an effort to slow the spread of the virus in the winter months and amid concern over Omicron.
On Monday, the JCVI said the UK would start offering Covid-19 booster shots to all adults, while making second vaccine doses available to children aged between 12 and 15. The booster campaign was previously only open to those aged above 40.
In a statement, the committee – which advises the UK government on immunisation – said that booster jabs would be available no sooner than three months after the second vaccine dose was given. The previous gap between second and booster shots had been six months.
The second doses for those aged between 12 and 15 must be given at least 12 weeks after the first, the advisory body stated.
“Having a booster dose of the vaccine will help to increase our level of protection against the Omicron variant. This is an important way for us to reduce the impact of this variant on our lives, especially in the coming months,” Professor Wei Shen Lim, Chair of the JCVI’s Covid-19 immunisation panel, said in a statement.
The body notes that continued efforts will be made to get those who are yet to be vaccinated to come forward for their shots.
The move comes after Prime Minister Boris Johnson asked the JCVI on Saturday to review the booster programme urgently, given concerns about the spread of the new Omicron variant, which is highly mutated.
The country has already rolled out the mRNA vaccines as booster shots, but is expected to approve the Novavax shot in the coming days.
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