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COVID-19 Vaccine


Press release

JCVI advice on COVID-19 booster vaccines for those aged 18 to 39 and a second dose for ages 12 to 15

Following the emergence of the Omicron variant, including confirmed cases in the UK, JCVI has urgently reviewed vaccine response measures.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) previously advised that those aged over 40 years and those at higher risk from coronavirus (COVID-19) should be offered a booster. This new JCVI advice means those aged 18 to 39 will also be eligible for a booster when the NHS calls them forward.

The booster will be offered in order of descending age groups, with priority given to the vaccination of older adults and those in a COVID-19 at-risk group. In response to the changing risk posed by the Omicron variant, the booster will now be given no sooner than 3 months after the primary course.

In addition, a second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine (30 microgram) for young people aged 12 to 15 years is advised no sooner than 12 weeks after the first dose.

The overall intention of the measures advised above is to accelerate the deployment of COVID-19 vaccines and raise levels of protection across the population.

Professor Wei Shen Lim, Chair, COVID-19 immunisation, JCVI said:

Having a booster dose of the vaccine will help to increase our level of protection against the Omicron variant. This is an important way for us to reduce the impact of this variant on our lives, especially in the coming months.

If you are eligible for a booster, please take up the offer and keep yourself protected as we head into winter.



Who should have the coronavirus vaccines

Some people are more likely to get poorly from coronavirus than other people.

All adults and some children are being offered the vaccine.

Some people who are more likely to get poorly include:

  • people living in a care home for the elderly
  • people aged 65 years and over
  • adults with Down’s syndrome

The vaccine will be also offered to adults with these health conditions:

  • problems with your kidney or liver
  • heart conditions
  • some brain conditions
  • breathing problems like severe asthma (needing steroid tablets)

This list doesn’t cover everybody. If you are more likely to get poorly, you should have been told by your doctor.

If you have a condition that makes you more likely to get very unwell from coronavirus and have not yet been vaccinated you should make an appointment to have them now.

Health and social care staff should also have all their vaccines.

If you are a paid or main carer for a vulnerable person you should also get the vaccine. This will help to protect you and the person you care for.

Knowing if you should get a vaccine

Your GP should be able to tell you if you should get the coronavirus vaccine.

Some people may receive a letter, a phone call or a text message to invite them for their vaccination.

How to book your appointment

Your invitation will explain who to call for your appointment.

Use the telephone to make your appointment or respond to the text message.

You will get told where to go for your vaccine and when.

Some people may be asked to go to a primary care hub to have their vaccine (primary care hubs are places where you can get your coronavirus vaccine that are run by your local GP services)

If you’re not sure, speak to your GP