People who are severely immunosuppressed have been told to wait to hear from GPs about if and when they will be offered a third primary dose of a Covid vaccine.
The advice came from Berkshire West Clinical Commissioning Group (BWCCG) after Healthwatch Reading enquired on behalf of people who had asked us how new advice from the JCVI (the committee that advises government on vaccines) would be put into practice.
Until now, most adults have been offered two Covid jabs eight weeks apart to make up their ‘primary’ vaccination, to be followed by a ‘booster’ jab six months later. But on 1 September 2021, the JCVI said studies had shown that certain immunosuppressed people, aged 12 and over, may not produce enough antibodies, so they should get a third primary dose, at least eight weeks after their second. They would then need a booster vaccine six months after the third dose, although guidance hasn’t yet been finalised on this.
Local NHS advice on third Covid jabs
‘If you fall into this category of immunosuppressed patients you will hear from your GP when it is time to have the third vaccination. Please be patient and wait to hear from your surgery. And please try and refrain from ringing them as staff are already handling a huge number of calls.
‘Our local GPs and hospital consultants are currently discussing the best ways of identifying immunosuppressed patients who will be assessed on an individual basis and a clinical recommendation will then be made as to the best way of administering the third jab. The patients will be notified by their GP about where they should go for their third jab. It could be the surgery or an appropriate site that’s authorised to vaccinate and record this group of patients.
‘Please note, if you are an immunosuppressed patient and have already had a booster job you will not need a third dose.'
Berkshire West Clinical Commissioning Group statement, October 5, 2021