Welsh Government has adopted new recommendations from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation to expand and accelerate the COVID-19 vaccination programme.
A significant increase in staffing and delivery will be needed to implement these changes, and we are currently putting place in place to make this happen. In the meantime you should normally expect your booster invitation to be around 6 months after your second dose.
JCVI guidance on 29 November: JCVI advice on the UK vaccine response to the Omicron variant - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
Welsh Government adopts the new guidance from the JCVI: Written statement: COVID-19 Vaccination – JCVI further advice on boosters (29 November 2021) | GOV.WALES
JCVI advises the following immediate measures within the COVID-19 vaccine programmes:
Booster vaccination eligibility should be expanded to include all adults aged 18 years to 39 years.
Booster vaccination should now 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. Booster vaccination should not be given within 3 months of completion of the primary course.
Severely immunosuppressed individuals who have completed their primary course (3 doses) should be offered a booster dose with a minimum of 3 months between the third primary and booster dose. Those who have not yet received their third dose may be given the third dose now to avoid further delay. A further booster dose can be given in 3 months, in line with the clinical advice on optimal timing.
Both the Moderna (50 microgram) and Pfizer-BioNTech (30 microgram) vaccines should be used with equal preference in the COVID-19 booster programme. Both vaccines have been shown to substantially increase antibody levels when offered as a booster dose.
In addition, JCVI advises the following secondary measure, subject to appropriate consideration by deployment teams regarding feasibility.
All children and young people aged 12 to 15 years should be offered a second dose (30 micrograms) of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a minimum of 12 weeks from the first dose. The interval between vaccines may be reduced to at least 8 weeks between doses if the emerging epidemiological data supports this (and those aged 16 to 17 may also be offered their second dose with an interval of at least 8 weeks).
The overall intention of the measures advised above is to accelerate the deployment of COVID-19 vaccines before the peak of any impending Omicron wave. There is currently no data to indicate that Omicron infection is associated with a change in the pattern of susceptibility to serious COVID-19 (hospitalisation and death). Persons of older age, or who are in COVID-19 at-risk groups are likely to remain at higher risk from serious COVID-19; therefore, vaccination should be prioritised accordingly.
Continued efforts should be made to offer COVID-19 vaccination (first, second and booster doses) to adults who have yet to receive any COVID-19 vaccinations.