Those aged 12 and over with complex medical conditions will be offered a booster.
Patients with “severely weakened immune systems” are to be offered a third COVID-19 booster vaccine.
Those aged 12 and over with complex medical conditions leading to severely weakened immune systems will be offered a booster vaccine ahead of the winter months.
A third dose will be offered to patients who were severely immunosuppressed at the time of their first or second dose, including those with leukaemia, advanced HIV and recent organ transplants
These patients may not mount a full response to vaccination and therefore may be less protected than the wider population, the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) explains.
Specialist clinicians are being asked to work with patients to determine if a booster vaccine is needed.
The news comes ahead of the anticipated JVCI plan to offer a booster to the elderly and health or social care workers.
Degree of protection will vary by individual.
Professor Jonathan Van Tam, Deputy Chief Medical Officer, explains: “We know there are people with severe immunosuppression for whom the first two doses of vaccine have not provided the same level protection as for the general population.
“The degree of protection will vary by individual, according to degree of immunosuppression and the underlying reasons for that.
“So I welcome the advice from JCVI to offer a third primary dose to those with severe immunosuppression, at a bespoke interval, advised by their specialist clinician, and guided by the UK’s immunisation handbook, the Green Book.
“We should be doing all we reasonably can to ensure that this group is not disadvantaged and a third primary dose is one step in this direction.
“We are also working hard to ensure there are other medical interventions that can be used in these groups, including specific treatments like antivirals and monoclonal antibodies.