People who have been shielding ‘may not respond well to the new coronavirus vaccine’, the UK government has warned.
Pfizer and BioNTech’s Covid-19 jab received UK approval today, and will be rolled out in the UK next week.
However, new guidance issued by the UK government has warned people who are considered extremely clinically vulnerable and have been shielding throughout the pandemic may not respond well to the vaccine.
In a document outlining advice on priority groups for Covid-19 vaccination, the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation explained: “Many individuals who are clinically extremely vulnerable will have some degree of immunosuppression or be immunocompromised and may not respond as well to the vaccine.”
The JCVI advises that people who are clinically extremely vulnerable should be offered the vaccine in the fourth wave, alongside those aged 70-74.
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The document explains: “Given the level of risk seen in this group as a whole, JCVI advises that persons aged less than 70 years who are clinically extremely vulnerable should be offered vaccine alongside those aged 70-74 years of age.”
While Pfizer’s vaccine is the first to achieve UK approval, jabs from Moderna, Novavax and the University of Oxford/AstraZeneca are also on the cusp of being approved for use in the UK.
The JCVI highlights that some of these jabs may be more suitable for people who are clinically extremely vulnerable.
They said: “Once sufficient evidence becomes available the committee will consider options for a cocooning strategy for immunosuppressed individuals, including whether any specific vaccine is preferred in this population.”
In the meantime, the UK government advises that people who have been shielding continue to follow guidelines on reducing their risk of infection.