Eluned Morgan MS, Minister for Health and Social Services
As we move beyond the emergency response to the pandemic and live safely with Covid-19, the protection of the most vulnerable people in society will continue to be of primary importance. Winter has been the season when the threat from Covid-19 is at its greatest for individuals and for our health and social services.
The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), as part of its latest review of the Covid-19 vaccination programme, has today published a statement setting out its interim advice on the next phase of the programme, due to commence in the autumn of 2022.
The JCVI is recommending a single dose of Covid-19 vaccine is offered to:
- Residents in a care home for older adults and staff working in care homes for older adults
- Frontline health and social care workers
- All those 65 years of age and over
- Adults aged 16 to 65 years in a clinical risk group
The main aim of the autumn programme is to supplement population immunity and protection against severe Covid-19 disease, specifically severe disease and hospitalisation, during the winter.
Together with my UK counterparts, I have accepted this interim advice. The JCVI will continue to consider the inclusion of further groups for the autumn programme over the coming weeks and I look forward to receiving its final advice in due course. In the meantime, NHS Wales has already started work to plan for implementation of the programme, alongside the operation of the current vaccination campaigns, including the ongoing spring booster campaign.
To enable everyone currently receiving their spring booster to be eligible for vaccination again in the autumn – between September and December 2022 – we will stop delivering the spring booster programme at the end of June 2022.
All those who turn 75 on or before 30 June are eligible for vaccination at any time during the spring booster campaign. They must be at least three months past any earlier dose of the Covid-19 vaccine and cannot already have had a booster dose during the spring. This means some people will be 74 on the day they are vaccinated, but are eligible because they turn 75 before the cut-off date.
This approach is consistent with the approach used in other programmes (like seasonal flu), and in other UK nations for their spring Covid-19 programme. If someone eligible for a spring booster has had a Covid-19 infection recently, they will need to wait 28 days or four weeks from the date they tested positive before they can be vaccinated. They will still be able to get vaccinated after 30 June as part of this campaign if they have to postpone their vaccination.
Today I am also publishing the latest version of our Covid-19 vaccination programme update to keep you informed about the progress our vaccination programme is making.
I am extremely grateful to the NHS and everyone involved in the vaccination programme for their continued hard work.