Residents of care homes for older adults and care staff are amongst those recommended for a COVID-19 vaccine booster in September under new government guidance.
The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) says millions of vulnerable people should be given the booster to provide protection ahead of the winter months.
Final advice from the JCVI is to be published ahead of September.
Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid said: “We welcome this interim advice, which will help us ensure we are ready in our preparations for autumn. We look forward to receiving the Committee’s final advice in due course.
“We need to learn to live with this virus. Our first COVID-19 vaccination programme is restoring freedom in this country, and our booster programme will protect this freedom. We are working with the NHS to make sure we can rapidly deliver this programme to maintain protection for people in the winter months.”
Independent Care Group chair, Mike Padgham welcomed the announcement as a “very sensible move”, adding: “We very much welcome this news as it is paramount that we continue to protect the most vulnerable in our society.
“COVID-19 still represents a very real threat both to people in care and nursing homes and to those being cared for in their own homes.
“We must do everything we can to protect them and a booster injection is a very valuable weapon in our armoury.
“We have lost far too many people in care settings to COVID-19 – each a loved one, a parent, an aunt, an uncle, brother, sister or friend – we do not want to lose more.”