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Peterborough vaccination sites will roll-out booster jabs 'as soon as possible'

Booster vaccines will be offered to people aged 50 and over, those in care homes and frontline health and social care workers, the government announced yesterday (September 14).
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The Pfizer jab will be used as a booster dose for more than 30m people (Photo: Adobe Stock)

Experts said the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine should be used as the booster dose for more than 30m people, and that it was safe to be given alongside the usual winter flu jab.

All those who are clinically extremely vulnerable and anyone aged 16 to 65 in an at-risk group group for Covid (who were in priority groups one to nine during the initial vaccine rollout) will also be eligible for a jab.

A spokesperson for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group said: “We have been busy preparing for the delivery of boosters to eligible local people in advance of yesterday’s announcement, and once operational details have been confirmed we will roll-out the vaccines through our existing vaccination sites as soon as possible.”

Three vaccines have been approved as safe and effective as boosters – AstraZeneca, Pfizer and Moderna – but experts have decided to opt for Pfizer as a preference after studies showed it is well-tolerated and works well as a booster.

The Pfizer jab as a booster can be given to people who had two doses of AstraZeneca previously.

If necessary, Moderna may be used as an alternative, but as a half-dose booster shot after studies showed it was effective with few side-effects.

People should receive their third booster dose at least six months after they received their second dose of a Covid vaccine.

Deputy chief medical officer for England Professor Jonathan Van-Tam said patients could begin receiving flu and booster coronavirus jabs simultaneously, subject to supply and practical restraints.

He told a Downing Street briefing: “Double jabs can start now, subject to the availability of both products.

“The MHRA [Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency] has looked at the data from the trials on giving flu in one arm and Covid in the other at the same time and the antibody response to both of those vaccines is not impaired by doing so, and the tolerability of doing that at the same time is also fine.

“I would add that there is a practical reality to add on top, which is for the NHS to consider in more detail and it may not always be the case that it is possible to co-administer those two vaccines in every single patient.

“Sometimes it will be possible and we should gain efficiencies by doing that where we can.”

When there is more data, experts plan to look at whether boosters should also be offered to healthy people under the age of 50.