C-19: JCVI issues advice on third dose vaccination for severely immunosuppressed
The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has issued advice that people with severely weakened immune systems should have a third vaccine dose as part of their primary COVID-19 vaccination schedule. The Government has accepted JCVI’s advice.
This third dose should be offered to people over 12 who were severely immunosuppressed at the time of their first or second dose, including those with leukaemia, advanced HIV and recent organ transplants. These people may not mount a full response to vaccination and therefore may be less protected than the wider population.
As a guide, the third dose should usually be at least eight weeks after the second dose but the decision on the timing of the third dose should be made by patient’s specialist, with flexibility to adjust the timing so that, where possible, immunosuppression is at a minimum when the vaccine dose is given.
A third primary dose is an extra ‘top-up’ dose for those who may not have generated a full immune response to the first two doses. This offer is separate to any potential booster programme; a booster dose is a later dose to extend the duration of protection from the primary course of vaccinations.