06 Sep 2021
The JCVI have announced that people over the age of 12 with severely weakened immune systems should have a third vaccine dose to top up protection against Covid-19. However, currently, mass vaccination of all 12-15 year olds is not recommended.
The advice means the most vulnerable - less than 1% of the population - will be offered a third dose, rather than all those on the original list of clinically extremely vulnerable people.
It follows research showing about 40% of people with weakened immune systems had a low antibody response, and potentially less protection, after two vaccine doses. People with severe immunosuppression are also more likely to become seriously ill if they catch Covid-19.
About 400,000 to 500,000 in the UK are eligible and include people with blood cancer, advanced HIV and recent organ or stem-cell transplants. People in this group should wait to hear from their GP or consultant.
A separate booster programme for other age groups/cohorts is still being considered. However, the the JCVI has recommended against mass vaccination of all 12-15 year olds. Only 12-15 year olds with certain underlying health conditions will be invited for vaccination by their GP.
Pregnant women and those aged under 30 remain the groups with the lowest uptake of first and second doses and are encouraged to take up their offer of a both vaccines. Evidence shows that being fully vaccinated guards against Long Covid, serious illness and hospitalisation.
For drop-in vaccination sessions across St Helens and the wider Cheshire and Merseyside area, please click here.