Eluned Morgan MS, Minister for Health and Social Services
The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has today provided a statement with further advice on the vaccine products for the autumn COVID-19 booster vaccination campaign.
The emergence of variants has led to the development of variant vaccines, with the objective of attaining a better match in vaccine-induced immunity against circulating strains. Vaccines that contain 2 different antigens, each based on a different SARS-CoV2 strain, are termed bivalent vaccines. Bivalent vaccines may therefore potentially improve protection against some variants of SARS-CoV2.
I recently issued a statement informing you that the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) had granted approval of the Moderna mRNA bivalent vaccine. I am pleased to announce that the MHRA have now granted approval of the Pfizer mRNA bivalent vaccine. The JCVI has subsequently recommended this bivalent vaccine for use as a single booster dose in the autumn campaign.
The Welsh Government continues to be guided by the latest clinical and scientific evidence and advice. Therefore, along with my UK counterparts, I have accepted this advice and agreed that the Pfizer mRNA bivalent vaccine will be utilised in the COVID-19 booster vaccination campaign in Wales.
Our booster campaign will help boost the immunity of those at higher risk from COVID-19, improving their protection against severe illness and helping protect the NHS this coming winter.
Our Winter Respiratory Vaccination Programme will ensure that people who are eligible are also protected from seasonal flu this year and we urge people to take up both their flu and COVID-19 vaccines when offered. It is the best way to protect yourselves and your families and to keep Wales safe this winter.
I am extremely grateful to the NHS and everyone involved in the vaccination programme for their continued hard work.
This statement is being issued during recess in order to keep members informed. Should members wish me to make a further statement or to answer questions on this when the Senedd returns I would be happy to do so.