Sunday 26 March 2023

No need for booster vaccine against coronavirus this spring, experts decide


Coronavirus experts have advised against another round of vaccinations this spring because there is enough immunity in the population from previous vaccines or infections.

The Outbreak Management Team (OMT) said the vast majority of people had built up sufficient antibodies against Covid-19 and people who were infected now tended to have milder symptoms.

The advisers will decide later in the year whether there should be another booster round in the autumn, when the peak season for coronavirus infections begins.

Doctors should still be able to prescribe a vaccine for patients who are vulnerable to coronavirus infections, such as people with severely compromised immune systems.

Last week the OMT said mass testing at regional centres could be wound down and people who suspected they had coronavirus symptoms no longer needed to take a self-test.

People with a suspected Covid-19 infection should continue to take the same precautions as for other respiratory diseases, including coughing into their elbow, regular hand washing and staying at home if they feel ill.

The OMT said the prevailing Omicron variant of the virus had reached an endemic stage, meaning it is widespread but no longer poses an acute threat to public health. However, measures such as mass testing should remain available in case a more severe variant emerges.

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