Patient care & support

COVID-19 spring booster: what we know so far

This week, the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) recommended immunosuppressed people aged 12 and over get a ‘spring booster’ of the COVID-19 vaccine six months after their most recent dose.

It is expected that most people with DMD aged 12 and over will qualify for the spring booster if they take corticosteroids, as the definition of ‘immunosuppressed’ currently includes:

“Individuals treated with or likely to be treated with systemic steroids for more than a month at a dose equivalent to prednisolone at 20mg or more per day for adults.”

The spring booster dose is judged necessary by the JCVI because immunity from vaccination wanes over time, and they are worried immunity among the vulnerable may wane substantially before autumn 2022. Their aim is to maintain immunity among vulnerable people until autumn 2022, and as a result, the JCVI have also issued interim advice for an autumn 2022 programme of vaccination for older people and those in risk groups – though they have not provided details yet of what they think this programme should be.

Not all the plans for the spring booster have been released yet, but the health authorities in Wales and Scotland have said they will start inviting people eligible for a spring booster to appointments from mid-March, and it is likely that England and Northern Ireland will follow suit.

You can find the announcement by the UK Health Security Agency here, and the report by the JCVI with their rationale here.

Find out more about the Spring booster for people with a weakened immune system on the NHS website.

Published on 25 February 2022

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