4. Recent clinical advice from the JCVI
Since the publication of our Autumn and Winter Vaccination Strategy on 30 September 2021, the JCVI have published a number of additional pieces of advice on the further expansion of the COVID-19 vaccination programme.
The JCVI released two pieces of advice on 15 November 2021. The first advised that 16 and 17 year olds, who are not in an at-risk group, should receive a second dose of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine a minimum of 12 weeks after receiving a first dose. The second advised that adults aged 40 to 49 should be offered a booster dose of the vaccine 6 months after their second dose. However, this interval was later shortened by subsequent advice as noted below.
On 29 November 2021 the JCVI published additional advice in response to the emergence of the Omicron variant. This advised that booster vaccinations should be given a minimum of 3 months after the completion of a primary course of vaccination and that boosters should be prioritised in order of descending age groups, with priority given to the vaccination of older adults and those in a COVID-19 at risk group.
In addition to the above, the JCVI further advised on 29 November that booster vaccination eligibility should be expanded to include all adults aged 18 to 39, and that severely immunosuppressed individuals who have completed their primary course of three doses may be given a booster dose 3 months after their third primary dose. Furthermore, and as a secondary measure subject to appropriate consideration by deployment teams regarding feasibility, they also advised that 12 to 15 year olds, who are not in an at-risk group, should be offered a second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine a minimum of 12 weeks from their first dose.
On 16 December 2021 the JCVI then advised that pregnant women, of any age, should be considered a clinical risk group and should be vaccinated within the COVID-19 vaccination programme as part of Priority Group 6.
The Scottish Government and Health Boards have moved quickly to agree and implement all of this advice.
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