Covid booster vaccines for healthy people are being phased out as the government moves away from its “pandemic relief” approach.
Healthy people between the ages of 16 and 49 can currently receive three Covid shots, two primary doses and a booster.
However, amid dwindling adoption, the UKHSA is ending its evergreen offer that has been in place since the start of the coronavirus vaccine rollout.
The third doses were launched in December 2021, but will end on February 12, the UKHSA has announced. The current autumn booster ride for the over-50s also ends on the same day.
The Telegraph understands that the government is also preparing to phase out the open supply of the first two doses in the coming months.
The move means unvaccinated healthy individuals under 50 will soon be unable to receive a Covid shot unless recommended by a medical professional.
A more focused strategy needs to be followed
Health officials hope to move to a more targeted vaccination strategy where non-vulnerable individuals only receive a Covid shot if there is a clear clinical need.
The Joint Committee on Vaccinations and Immunizations (JCVI) on Wednesday advised the government to start planning a spring and autumn campaign for the Covid booster for the most vulnerable.
Details of this are yet to be determined, but it is clear that it will be similar to 2022. Last year, spring doses were given to the over-75s, the immunosuppressed and residents of care homes, while over-50s and clinically frail individuals received a fall dose. 2022 dose.
Professor Wei Shen Lim, chair of COVID-19 vaccination at the JCVI, said: “The COVID-19 vaccination program continues to reduce serious illness in the population while helping to protect the NHS.
“That is why we have recommended planning for further booster vaccinations for those at higher risk of severe disease, through an autumn booster program later this year.
“We will also provide final guidance on a spring stimulus program for those most at risk very soon.”
Limited intake by young and healthy
The open door policy of Covid boosters for the healthy and young is being terminated as after initial widespread adoption, there has been limited adoption lately.
For example, as of April 2022, less than 0.1 percent of eligible youth under 50 have received the third dose.
Nearly 13.7 million 16-49 year olds have received three doses of the Covid vaccine, while 19.8 and 21.3 million people have received their second and first doses respectively.
According to government data, there are 29.6 million people between the ages of 16 and 49, with only 46 percent of eligible people under 50 receiving three doses.