33. For autumn/winter 2021/22 the JCVI advises individuals who received vaccination in Phase 1 of the COVID-19 vaccination programme (priority groups 1 to 9) should be offered a COVID-19 booster vaccine. This includes:
- those living in residential care homes for older adults
- all adults aged 50 years or over
- frontline health and social care workers
- all those aged 16 to 49 years with underlying health conditions that put them at higher risk of severe COVID-19 (as set out in the green book), and adult carers
- adult household contacts (aged 16 or over) of immunosuppressed individuals
34. As most younger adults will only have received their second COVID-19 vaccine dose in late summer or early autumn, the benefits of booster vaccination in this group will be considered at a later time when more information is available. In general, younger, healthy individuals may be expected to generate stronger vaccine-induced immune responses from primary course vaccination compared to older individuals.
35. JCVI will review data as they emerge and consider further advice at the appropriate time on booster vaccinations in younger adult age groups, children aged 12 to 16 years with underlying health conditions, and women without any other clinical risk factors who are pregnant.
36. The above eligibility aligns broadly with the initial JCVI cohorts 1-9 who were prioritised in phase 1 of the COVID-19 vaccination programme, but with a specific emphasis on, and prioritisation of, adults who are immunosuppressed.
37. It should be noted that JCVI advises that the booster programme should be deployed in the same order as during Phase 1, with operational flexibility exercised where appropriate to maximise delivery.
38. The delivery of boosters in Scotland commenced during the week beginning 20 September 2021 with residents in care homes for older people, housebound patients and other priority groups not requiring to be appointed at a mass clinic who will be offered flu and COVID-19 booster vaccination.
39. People on the highest risk list who were severely immunosuppressed at the time of their last COVID-19 vaccination are also being offered a third primary dose at this stage. Other eligible groups, including all those aged 16 to 49 years with underlying health conditions, adult carers, unpaid and young carers, adult household contacts of immunosuppressed individuals and all adults over 50 will be called next.
40. It is expected flu immunity will be lower because there was very little flu circulating in 2020/21 due to national lockdowns, therefore for 2021/22 a free flu vaccine is offered to an expanded group:
- over 50s;
- people with underlying health conditions which put them at risk;
- pregnant women;
- children aged 2-5;
- health and social care staff;
- unpaid and young carers;
- all primary and secondary school age children, (given in school setting);
- independent NHS contractors, (GP, dental and optometry practices, community pharmacists), laboratory staff (working on Covid-19 testing) including support staff;
- teachers, nursery teachers and support staff in close contact with pupils;
- prison staff and support staff and inmates;
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