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BSI response to JCVI advice on COVID-19 vaccines for the autumn booster programme

Older man about to receive vaccine from HCP Flickr SELf Magazine & American Academy of Pediatrics

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has published its advice on which COVID-19 vaccines should be included in this autumn's COVID-19 booster programme. In response, the British Society for Immunology has published the following statement.

Professor Deborah Dunn-Walters, Chair of the British Society for Immunology COVID-19 Taskforce and Professor of Immunology at the University of Surrey, said:

“Over the last year, researchers have been working hard to assess how we can best protect people from COVID-19 going forwards through the use of COVID-19 booster vaccines.  The results from these multiple studies have been provided to the JCVI for careful analysis to decide which vaccines should be given as a booster, when this should happen and which people should receive one. 

“Booster vaccines do as their name suggests – they provide a boost to your immune system to increase the levels of antibodies and T cells that you have to protect you against falling seriously ill with COVID-19.  Previous research shows that individuals who are older or who have a weakened immune system are particularly at risk of becoming very ill if they contract COVID-19, but that vaccination does provide significant protection to them. Therefore, it is good to see these individuals, and the people they come into regular contact with, prioritised in this booster programme.

“In line with previous years, we expect to see levels of circulating SARS-CoV-2 increase during the winter months.  Vaccination is still the safest and most effective way to protect yourself from becoming very ill with COVID-19.  Once available, it is important to take up the offer of a COVID-19 booster vaccine if you are offered it.”

You can read the full announcement from the JCVI here