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Health and Social Care Secretary statement on spring booster programme and evergreen offer

Adults aged 75 and over, residents in a care home for older adults and immunosuppressed individuals will be eligible for a spring booster.

Health and Social Care Secretary Steve Barclay said:

Our COVID vaccination programme has saved tens of thousands of lives across the country and helped to ease pressure on the NHS during a challenging winter.

It is important that we continue to ensure the most vulnerable are protected through a targeted seasonal vaccination offer for those most at risk, which is why I have accepted advice from the independent Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation on this year’s spring booster programme. This will top up the protection of those considered at highest clinical risk. Spring booster vaccines will be offered to adults aged 75 years and over, residents in a care home for older adults and immunosuppressed individuals aged 5 years and over.

The spring booster programme is due to end on 30 June and as we live with the virus without past restrictions on our freedoms, I am also announcing that the offer of a first or second dose of COVID vaccine will end at this time.

COVID continues to infect thousands of people every week, so I strongly encourage anyone who has not yet taken up the offer of a first or second dose of vaccine to join the 42 million who have already come forward for both doses.

Background information

NHS England will confirm a start date for the spring programme in due course and eligible individuals will be offered the vaccine around 6 months after their previous dose.

The JCVI has advised the following vaccines may be used in the 2023 spring programme:

  • Pfizer-BioNTech bivalent
  • Moderna bivalent
  • Sanofi/GSK monovalent (beta variant)
  • Novavax monovalent (wild-type variant) - only for use when alternative products are not considered clinically suitable

The vaccine offered will depend on a person’s age and local supply considerations. Children under 12 years of age will be offered a children’s formulation of the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine.

Immunosuppressed cohorts are defined in Table 3 (page 19) and Table 4 (page 26) in the COVID-19 chapter of the Green Book.

Published 8 March 2023