LONDON – Britain on Monday said it would offer further COVID-19 booster shots to the elderly, care home residents and immunosuppressed people as part of a plan to learn to live with the disease without legal restrictions.
Britain’s health minister Sajid Javid said he would accept the recommendation of the country’s vaccine advisers, and said that all four nations of the United Kingdom would offer the extra shots.
“We know immunity to COVID-19 begins to wane over time. That’s why we’re offering a spring booster to those people at higher risk of serious COVID-19 to make sure they maintain a high level of protection,” Javid said in a statement.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has cited success in the rollout of COVID vaccines and boosters as a key factor in re-opening England’s economy, and is due to set out further details of his plan to live with COVID later on Monday.
Britain’s Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) said it advised offering the extra shots on a precautionary basis, and Javid said those eligible would be offered a vaccine about six months after their last dose.
The JCVI also said it anticipated a further booster programme in the autumn of 2022 would also be needed, though it was too early to set out details of such a programme.
“The JCVI will continue its rolling review of the vaccination programme and the epidemiological situation, particularly in relation to the timing and value of doses for less vulnerable older adults and those in clinical risk groups ahead of autumn 2022,” JCVI Chair for COVID vaccination Wei Shen Lim said.