Covid booster vaccines for those over 50 could be limited to the most vulnerable – .

Covid booster vaccines for those over 50 could be limited to the most vulnerable – .

The committee has yet to consider some evidence, including the results of studies of mix-and-match vaccines and the duration of immunity. But a source said: “The tentative plan was to prepare for a mass deployment, but the likely direction of displacement is now something much more restricted. ”

While those in particular risk groups, such as the immunocompromised, are still likely to be offered booster shots, discussions should focus on other vulnerable groups to focus on.

On Thursday, a JCVI member said it was not clear whether extending the program to everyone beyond a particular age threshold “would make a big difference.”

Professor Adam Finn said: “I think at this point we need to focus on the people who are more likely, if you will, to get sick again if they don’t have a booster. He told BBC Breakfast that the committee “would try to identify people who are really at risk and who really need that third dose”.

He added: “I think it is really less clear whether a third dose more generally, for all people above a certain age, is really going to make a big difference”, saying that more evidence was needed before such a decision could be made.

Professor Kamlesh Khunti, a member of the Government’s Science Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage), said the UK currently lacks “data” to demonstrate the case for booster shots, except for those who were given early priority for the first vaccines.

The University of Leicester professor told a Royal Society of Medicine seminar: “We probably have about seven, eight months of data on this now in terms of follow-up, but for the other groups that have been vaccinated later, we do not have as much data. “

Professor Ravindra Gupta, a member of Nervtag, who also advises the government, said there was new evidence showing that third doses could “save” responses in those who are immunocompromised. He said a sharp decline in T cell and B cell immune responses in the months following vaccination has been observed in older people, especially those over 80 years old.

The professor of clinical microbiology at the University of Cambridge called for the development of “good rapid tests” for immunity to be able to establish who might benefit from the booster shots.

In June, the JCVI issued an interim notice stating that any potential Covid recall program should be offered from September.

This suggested that the deployment should begin with all over 70s, residents of nursing homes, primary care and healthcare workers, clinically extremely vulnerable adults and the immunocompromised, with anyone over the age of. 50 years who then offered injections “as soon as possible”. At the time, the JCVI said its final opinion “could change dramatically.”

It came as the latest estimates from Public Health England suggested the Covid jabs had saved nearly 100,000 lives in England, preventing more than 82,000 hospitalizations and more than 23 million infections.

On Thursday evening, a government spokesperson said: “We are preparing for a recall program to ensure that those most vulnerable to Covid-19 have extended protection before winter and against new variants.

“Any booster program will be based on the final advice of the Independent Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunization. Until we receive independent advice from JCVI, no decision can be made on broader requirements for those receiving booster injections. ”


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