As cases of COVID-19 increase across Scotland, people who are older or who have a weakened immune system are being encouraged to get the spring booster vaccination in order to increase their levels of protection.
Within these groups, COVID-19 infection can be more serious and evidence suggests that protection from the vaccine may wear off quicker than the general population.
The calls for people to take up the spring booster have been made following the increase in cases seen in Scotland over the past week. On Wednesday 15 June, 11,922 confirmed cases were reported; a 44.5% increase on the previous week.
The spring booster dose is being offered as a precaution to those at high risk and should help reduce the risk of getting seriously ill from COVID-19, or being admitted to hospital with COVID-19.
Dr Nick Phin, Director of Public Health Science and Medical Director at Public Health Scotland, said:
“Uptake of the spring booster in Scotland for those at increased risk from COVID-19 has been relatively good, however, we know that there are people who could still benefit from the increased levels of protection it offers.
“It is concerning that some people may think there is no need for a booster and feel that the risk to them is over. For those who are particularly vulnerable, such as those eligible for the spring booster, there is still an increased risk of getting COVID-19 and of developing some of the more serious complications.
“We now have really good evidence of the protection offered by the vaccine. Having protection is always important, however it is especially so when there are increased case numbers being seen within the community, as we are seeing currently.
“It’s not too late to come forward for all your recommended COVID-19 vaccinations and we are encouraging those who have not already done so to take the opportunity."
The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) recommends a spring booster dose for:
- adults aged 75 years and over (or who will turn 75 by 30 June 2022)
- people with a weakened immune system.
The spring booster dose will usually be offered around 6 months since the previous dose of COVID-19 vaccine. Some people may be invited sooner than this (at least 3 months since their last dose) to help protect them against any increase in COVID-19 infections. NHS Scotland will contact people to arrange their appointment at the right time for them.
If you have not yet had your booster dose, but you have had all your primary doses, you can have the spring booster dose as long as there has been at least 3 months since your last dose.
Another booster dose, as well as the usual flu vaccine, may be required for some people in the autumn.
For more information about booster doses, including how to arrange a vaccination, please visit: nhsinform.scot/covid19vaccinebooster or call the national vaccination helpline on 0800 030 8013.