This follows data from the COV-BOOST trial that indicates the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is well tolerated as a third dose and provides a strong booster response.
Alternatively, a half dose of the Moderna vaccine may be offered. Where mRNA vaccines cannot be offered, for example due to allergies, the AstraZeneca vaccine may be considered for those who received it previously.
Professor Wei Shen Lim, Chair of COVID-19 Immunisation for the JCVI, said: “The UK’s COVID-19 vaccination programme has been hugely successful in protecting people against hospitalisation and death, and the main aim of the booster programme is to prolong that protection and reduce serious disease as we head towards the colder months.
“The JCVI is advising that a booster dose be offered to the more vulnerable, to maximise individual protection ahead of an unpredictable winter. Most of these people will also be eligible for the annual flu vaccine and we strongly advise them to take up this offer as well.”