Schopwick Surgery

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Covid Vaccine Booster Update

We have now received an update on Covid boosters. Please read the FAQ below. We kindly request you do not call the practice for Covid booster queries. The Practice will contact you when it is your turn to have the booster if you are eligible.

FAQ

Who will get a Covid-19 booster vaccine?

Everyone over 50 or who has a health condition that puts them at higher risk from Covid-19 will be offered a booster.  

When will I get a booster vaccine?

If you are eligible, you’ll be invited to get a booster vaccine when it is your turn, this must be at least six months after your second dose. The booster programme is expected to start in the coming few weeks and is likely to last at least throughout the autumn. 

Boosters will be given in the same order of priority as for the initial vaccine, as follows: 

  1. Care home residents and staff
  2. People aged 80 and over, and frontline health and social care workers
  3. People aged 75 and over
  4. People aged 70 and over, and adults who are clinically extremely vulnerable
  5. People aged 65 and over
  6. Adults who are at higher risk from Covid-19, including people with heart and circulatory conditions and carers
  7. People aged 60 and over
  8. People aged 55 and over
  9. People aged 50 and over

Why might I need a booster vaccine?

The booster vaccines are being recommended in order to give longer-lasting protection. We still don’t know how long protection from the Covid-19 vaccines lasts, but there is some evidence, particularly in the case of the Pfizer vaccine, that it declines over time and has started to decline within six months from the second dose. Because the vaccine has not yet been available for long enough, there are no large studies of effectiveness beyond six months from the second dose.

A booster dose will help to ensure those at higher risk from coronavirus, who were prioritised at the start of the vaccine programme, have enough protection going into winter.

We know that as coronavirus spreads and mutates, it can start to resist vaccines. A booster programme could offer extra protection against variants that have resistance to existing vaccines.

What about people who have a weakened immune response?

The JCVI and UK government have recommended that everyone over 12 with a severely weakened immune system is offered a third dose of the Covid-19 vaccine, which is separate from the booster programme.

A third dose is being offered to up to 500,000 people in the UK whose immune systems do not work properly or who are taking immune suppressant medication – including people who have had a heart transplant or are on certain types of steroid medication. The NHS is contacting people who are eligible for a third dose of the vaccine to arrange an appointment as soon as possible if they haven’t already had their third dose.

The JCVI have said that this recommendation is an update to the standard dosing schedule for people in this at-risk group, and that they will also be offered a booster vaccine at a later date. Please read the official government advice for people who are eligible for a third dose

Which vaccine will be used for the boosters?

The Pfizer vaccine or the Moderna vaccine are the most likely vaccines to be offered for booster doses, as evidence shows that this type of vaccine will work well as a booster. A half dose of the Moderna vaccine may be used, as this has been shown to be very effective. 

The Pfizer, Moderna and Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccines have all been approved for use as booster jabs by the UK medicines regulator, the MHRA. The Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine has only been approved as a booster for use in people who had it as their first and second vaccine. 

More research is currently under way to look at other options for use as Covid-19 booster vaccines. 

Where can I get a booster vaccine?

The booster vaccine will be given at Allum Hall. You will need to wait to be offered the booster.  Please do not call the surgery, you will be invited as you become eligible.

Will I need to be monitored after my booster vaccine?

You are likely to be asked to wait for 15 minutes after your booster vaccine. This is so that in the very unlikely event of a severe allergic reaction, help will be at hand.

What is happening for 12-15 year olds, will they be getting a vaccine?

12-15 year olds without significant health conditions (and therefore who have not yet been invited) will be vaccinated within the school setting. Your child’s school will be in contact with parents and carers in the near future to let you know when this will be offered.