The Government has published its priority list for the COVID-19 booster and annual vaccines as follows:
Stage 1. The following people should be offered a third dose COVID-19 booster vaccine and the annual influenza vaccine, as soon as possible from September 2021:
- adults aged 16 years and over who are immunosuppressed;
- those living in residential care homes for older adults;
- all adults aged 70 years or over;
- adults aged 16 years and over who are considered clinically extremely vulnerable;
- frontline health and social care workers.
Stage 2. The following people should be offered a third COVID-19 booster vaccine as soon as practicable after Stage 1, with equal emphasis on deployment of the influenza vaccine where eligible:
- all adults aged 50 years and over
- all adults aged 16 – 49 years who are in an influenza or COVID-19 at-risk group as outlined in the Green Book
- Adult household contacts of immunosuppressed individuals
Commenting, Helen Walker, Chief Executive of Carers UK, said:
“Since the pandemic started unpaid carers have made huge sacrifices, taking every possible step to mitigate risks and keep the person they care for as safe as possible from the virus. The JCVI’s decision late last year to prioritise unpaid carers for their first and second COVID-19 jabs was warmly welcomed and a vital step to ensuring that they could better protect themselves and their older, disabled or seriously ill relatives. Huge progress has been made successfully identifying and protecting carers and the people they care for through this prioritisation.
“However, it’s unclear where carers sit within this list. Although they are within the existing Green Book prioritisation lists for flu and for COVID-19, it’s not immediately clear where unpaid carers are prioritised in this list published today.
“We are asking the JCVI and Government to urgently clarify this and their prioritisation status for the booster jab. We do not want to repeat the confusion of last December where carers were left out of the shortlist on 2 December but later clarified that they were included at the end of the month.”