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Last year anyone over the age of 50 was eligible but early advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation recommends a higher age limit this time. Spring boosters are currently being offered to the most vulnerable, including all over-75s. For those eligible this autumn it will be their fifth Covid-19 vaccine dose.
Professor Wei Shen Lim, who chairs Covid vaccination on the JCVI, said: “We have provided interim advice on an autumn booster programme so that the NHS and care homes can start the necessary operational planning.”
He said it would “enable high levels of protection for more vulnerable individuals and frontline healthcare staff over next winter”.
Prof Lim added that further updates to the advice would follow as data was reviewed.
Covid cases have fallen from one in 13 in early April to one in 45 in England in the first week of May.
The Department of Health and Social Care welcomed the advice, adding: “We will consider their final recommendations later this year.We have asked the NHS in England to begin preparations.”