The number of people to be offered the Covid-19 booster jab in autumn 2023 has been scaled back.

The vaccine will be offered in Wales to those aged 65 and over, healthcare workers, and people living with certain health conditions following the advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) through the UK booster programme.

The autumn 2023 rollout is reduced from the number of boosters offered during the same period last year.

The autumn booster was offered to those aged 50 and over in 2022 but this year the eligibility criteria has been tightened so only those aged 65 and over will be offered the jab.

Health officials said that a larger group was offered the covid booster jab last year as part of the “emergency response” to the pandemic.

But the “success of these programmes has enabled us to live with Covid and, this year, we are able to scale back the number of people who require an autumn booster”, officials added.

The age threshold for a Covid-19 autumn booster now aligns with eligibility for flu vaccination in 2023.

Who is eligible for the autumn 2023 covid booster?

The Covid-19 jab is not available privately in the UK, so those who were offered the vaccine last year and are not eligible this year will not be able to purchase the jab themselves.

Those eligible for a vaccine as part of the 2023 autumn booster programme include:

  • Care home residents
  • All adults aged 65 years and over
  • Persons aged 6 months to 64 years in a clinical risk group
  • Frontline health and social care workers
  • Persons aged 12 to 64 years who are household contacts of people with immunosuppression
  • Persons aged 16 to 64 years who are carers and staff working in care homes for older adults

South Wales Argus: Are you eligible for a Covid-19 booster jab in autumn 2023?Are you eligible for a Covid-19 booster jab in autumn 2023? (Image: PA)

Additionally, the JCVI said adults who are yet to receive a Covid vaccine will be eligible to get a single jab during the autumn booster campaign.

When will the autumn Covid booster jabs be available in Wales?

An exact date as to when the autumn Covid-19 booster jabs will be available in Wales is yet to be announced.

However, the JCVI has advised the NHS should deliver the programme by early December to “optimise protection” over the winter months.

Chairman of Covid-19 immunisation on the JCVI, Professor Wei Shen Lim, said: “The autumn booster programme will continue to focus on those at greatest risk of getting seriously ill.

What to do if you get Covid

“It is important that everyone who is eligible takes up a booster this autumn – helping to prevent them from hospitalisations and deaths arising from the virus over the winter months.”

The JCVI sets out its recommendations on vaccinations for the whole of the UK and then it is up to each of the devolved nations to decide whether or not to take up the recommendations.

Minister for Health and Social Services, Eluned Morgan MS, said the Welsh Government had accepted the recommendations put forward by the JCVI and would begin rolling out autumn booster jabs across Wales shortly. 

The Health and Social Services Minister added: "Further advice on the preferred vaccine products for the autumn is expected from JCVI shortly.

"Planning is already underway by NHS organisations to prepare for the autumn programme."