UK to give COVID booster dose to higher-risk groups in autumn

LONDON (Reuters) -British health minister Steve Barclay said on Wednesday a COVID-19 booster vaccination would be offered in autumn this year for those at higher risk of severe disease.

Earlier on Wednesday Britain's vaccine advisers, the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation, said plans should be made to offer such a booster vaccination.

It also called for an extra booster vaccine dose in the spring for a smaller group of people, such as older and immunosuppressed people.

"We're changing the Covid vaccination programme for 2023 after advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination & Immunisation (JCVI)," Barclay said on Twitter.

As well as the planned autumn booster, Barclay said an extra booster "may" be offered in spring for people at greatest risk.

The 2022 autumn booster programme in England will end on Feb. 12, he added.

(Reporting by William James, writing by Sachin Ravikumar and Kylie MacLellan, Editing by William Maclean)