Autumn Covid-19 booster roll-out begins in Wales
The roll-out of the autumn Covid-19 booster has started in Wales with care home residents and staff across Wales the first to receive the vaccine on the 1st of September.
The new booster jab will be offered to everyone in Wales aged 50 and over, as well as those with underlying health conditions, to increase protection ahead of the future waves of the virus.
As part of the Welsh Government’s winter respiratory vaccination strategy, people who are eligible for the Covid jab are also being urged to take up the flu vaccine when offered.
In line with advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), eligible adults aged 18 and over will initially be offered the Moderna vaccine which protects from both the original Covid virus and the Omicron variant.
The UK became the first nation to authorise the vaccine, described as “next generation” by experts, when the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) approved it on last month.
Those eligible aged under 18 will be offered the Pfizer vaccine. Both vaccines will be offered at least three months after a previous dose.
Everyone who is eligible for the autumn booster will be invited for vaccination by their health boards.
Invitations will be issued in order of vulnerability, with everyone eligible being offered a booster vaccine by December.
Those eligible for the autumn booster are:
- Residents in a care home for older adults and staff working in care homes for older adults
- Frontline health and social care workers
- All adults aged 50 years and over
- People aged five to 49 years who are in a clinical risk group
- People aged five to 49 years who are household contacts of people who are immunosuppression
- People aged 16 to 49 who are carers.
Health Minister Eluned Morgan said: “Our winter respiratory vaccination programme will help protect the most vulnerable in our communities from flu and coronavirus this winter.
“The Covid-19 booster campaign will start with those in care homes, alongside those working within the NHS and the social care sector.
“Vaccines have had an enormous impact on the course of the pandemic – they have saved countless lives and given us the freedom and confidence to restart our lives.
“I want to thank everyone working in the NHS and other organisations who will once again lead efforts to protect the most vulnerable through vaccination.
“This year, we will once again offer an expanded flu programme, with 1.5 million people being eligible for a free vaccine.
“I would encourage anyone who is eligible to take up their invitation to help themselves.
“All eligible adults will be invited for their autumn Covid-19 booster via letter and text message from their health board by December and I would ask people not to contact their GPs about their invite so they can continue to focus on looking after people’s health.”
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