Care home residents are among those to be offered a third ‘booster’ jab from next week under the government’s Winter Plan.
The move was announced by Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid to the Commons today.
The booster, which will be offered to the over 50s, younger adults with health conditions and frontline health and social care workers, is part of a ‘five-pillar’ Winter Plan.
Under the plans, which take up recommendations by the JCVI (Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation), eligible groups will offered a Pfizer jab at least six months after their second dose.
The measure follows evidence that the vaccine’s effectiveness may weaken over a period of months after the second dose.
Trials have shown that a flu jab can be offered at the same time as a COVID vaccine where practical.
Deputy chief medical officer Prof Jonathan Van Tam said the country should expect a “bumpy winter”.
Around 85% of deaths in recent weeks have been among the over 60s.
Data published earlier today by the ONS showed a small decline in COVID related deaths in care homes in England and Wales with 61 recorded in the week ending 3 September.
COVID-19 accounted for 3.5% of all deaths in care homes in the week, down marginally from 3.6% in the previous week.