UK cuts gap between second dose and booster jabs for vulnerable groups

COVID-19 booster shots can now be administered sooner than six months after the second dose to certain vulnerable groups for operational reasons, the UK government has announced.
UK cuts gap between second dose and booster jabs for vulnerable groups
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The UK Health Security Agency (UKSA) has updated the advice in its Green Book, which contains the latest information on vaccines and vaccination procedures in the country for healthcare professionals. 
Under the new guidelines announced on Friday, care home residents who have been given their second vaccine dose at different times will be able to be jabbed in the same session, as long as it has been at least five months since their last dose. 
It is also expected to help other vulnerable groups, such as housebound patients, so that they can have their flu and COVID-19 vaccines at the same time. 
“We are making great progress with the booster rollout and I want to thank everyone working so hard to get jabs in arms,” UK Health Secretary Sajid Javid said. 
“This updated guidance will ensure healthcare professionals have the necessary flexibility in the booster programme, allowing more vulnerable people to be vaccinated where it makes operational sense to do so – including our loved ones in care homes,” he added. 
The flexibility in clinical guidance is expected to speed up the administration of life-saving booster jabs, making it more efficient to reach the country’s most vulnerable, people aged 50-plus, to ensure they’re protected in the winter months. 
The move comes as the National Health Service declared a “booster blitz” on Saturday, with more than 1.6 million candidates, aged 50-plus, who were eligible for their COVID-19 vaccine booster shots being invited for their top-up jabs next week. 
“Thanks to the efforts of the NHS staff, millions of people have received their booster shots already and just over six weeks in, with over half of eligible over 50s already protected as we head into a winter like no other,” said Dr Nikki Kanani, deputy lead of the NHS vax programme.

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