Covid boosters will be required again in September as cases continue to rise, a government vaccines expert has warned.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4 on Monday, as reported by The Independent,  Professor Adam Finn, a member of the government’s Joint Committee on Immunisations and Vaccinations said the boosters will need to be rolled out as immunity from previous doses will have waned.

This comes as there have been calls for the autumn booster scheme to be extended.

Younger adults and children should be eligible for booster jabs in the autumn, Moderna has said, as it warned that people could be “under-protected and under-vaccinated” without a wider booster programme.

Dr Paul Burton, Moderna’s chief medical officer, said that restricting the booster age to 65 will leave “a lot of vulnerable people unprotected”.

Asked about whether the eligibility criteria for the booster programme should be reassessed, Dr Burton said: “I think what we’re going to be looking at come the autumn is a lot of under-vaccinated, under-protected people because maybe they got boosted last November, December, for the holidays, but they’re now going to have a long interval where they haven’t had a booster.

“So people are going to be under-vaccinated and under-protected and I think restricting the booster age to 65 will leave a lot of other vulnerable people unprotected.

“Clearly governments will have to make their own public health decisions but my sense is that actually for this upcoming booster season, a broader opportunity to vaccinate everybody, including children, is probably warranted to for consideration.”

In an update published on the government website in May, the JCVI’s current stance on the Autumn vaccination process is as follows:

A COVID-19 vaccine should be offered to

  • residents in a care home for older adults and staff
  • frontline health and social care workers
  • all those 65 years of age and over
  • adults aged 16 to 64 years who are in a clinical risk group

Professor Wei Shen Lim, Chair of COVID-19 vaccination on the JCVI, said: “Last year’s autumn booster vaccination programme provided excellent protection against severe COVID-19, including against the Omicron variant.

“We have provided interim advice on an autumn booster programme for 2022 so that the NHS and care homes are able to start the necessary operational planning, to enable high levels of protection for more vulnerable individuals and frontline healthcare staff over next winter.

“As we continue to review the scientific data, further updates to this advice will follow.”

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