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Q+A: COVID vaccine boosters – who will receive them and why are they being given?

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After consulting its vaccine advisers, the UK government is launching its much-discussed COVID-19 vaccine booster programme. From the week beginning September 20 2021, a third dose will be offered to all people who were prioritised in the first wave of the UK’s vaccine rollout.

This includes all residents and staff of care homes, all frontline health and social care workers, everyone over 50, all those over 16 who have underlying health conditions that put them at higher risk of severe COVID-19 (together with their carers) and all adults who live with an immunosuppressed person.

Anyone taking a third dose will need to have had their second at least six months previously, and people will be prioritised as in the first wave of the vaccine rollout, with care home residents and staff to be vaccinated first. If you or someone you know is going to be included in the booster programme, here are the key things you need to know.

Because there are worries that some of the effects of the first two doses may have worn off for those that received their vaccines a while ago. Boosters can solve this problem by reminding the immune system to be ready to deal with an infection – they top up immunity.

Whether people who had the vaccine over six months ago actually need their immunity topping up isn’t clear cut.........

© The Conversation

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