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Health Minister confirms scaling down of Covid vaccination programme

16 Feb 2023 2 minute read
Eluned Morgan, Minister for Health and Social Services, receiving her autumn COVID-19 booster vaccine.

Wales’ Health Minister has confirmed primary and booster Covid jabs will no longer be made available to everyone over the age of five in Wales.

The change, which will be introduced from 30th  of June, follows a recommendation from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI).

The offer of the initial two dose universal primary course of vaccine, was rolled out across Wales from December.

The offer of the universal booster (third) dose, offered from autumn 2021 to all the population aged over 5, will also cease, on 31st March.

Cut-off date

Anyone between 5 to 49, who have not had their primary course or their 2021 booster dose, are being encouraged to get the booster before the cut-off date.

The minister said the changes were being introduced due to “the high level of strong population immunity developed over the past two and a half years, and as we move from a pandemic emergency response towards a more sustainable, business as usual approach.”

In a statement confirming the changes, Ms Morgan wrote: “This does not signal a closure of the Covid-19 vaccination programme, we expect Covid-19 vaccination to continue to be a feature of our vaccination programme in Wales.

“People who develop a new health condition that places them in a clinical risk group, who haven’t yet had their primary course and/or booster dose, will still be able to be vaccinated during the next campaign window or sooner on the advice of a clinician.

Additionally, as previously announced, people at higher risk (as determined by the JCVI) will be offered an additional booster in Autumn 2023 and planning is also currently underway for a possible Spring 2023 booster programme, subject to advice shortly from the JCVI on this.

“The vaccine continues to be the best way to prevent serious illness and the spread of COVID-19 and I would urge everyone eligible who has not yet had their primary course or their original 2021 booster dose to come forward before these universal offers end.”

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