Millions of people will be invited for their autumn COVID booster jab in England and Scotland next week, with care home residents the first to receive them.
Although infections are falling, health bosses are predicting a resurgence of COVID and flu this autumn and winter.
They are urging those eligible to protect themselves from serious illness by getting vaccines against both.
A recently approved vaccine against the Omicron variant will be used first.
However, there is not enough of Moderna’s “bivalent” vaccine to protect everyone aged over 50 so health officials say people should take whichever booster they are offered. These will be the vaccines used in the spring.
The UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) announced on Saturday that it had approved a second “bivalent” coronavirus vaccine from Pfizer/BioNTech for people aged 12 and over.
The groups who qualify for an autumn booster are:
- adults aged 50 and over
- people aged five to 49 with health conditions that put them at higher risk – including pregnant women
- care-home staff
- frontline health and social care workers
- carers aged 16 to 49
- household contacts of people with weakened immune systems
The most vulnerable will be prioritised first. (BBC)