HEALTH boards in Wales will offer another Covid-19 booster vaccine to three groups considered to be high-risk in spring.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has recommended a spring booster for those who would benefit from it most.

Health minister Eluned Morgan has said she accepts the advice and asked health boards to plan their vaccine rollouts accordingly, describing the decision as a "precautionary strategy". 

Particular details of the programme will be set out by Wales’ chief medical officer in due course.

Ms Morgan said the primary aim of the Covid vaccination programme continued to be the prevention of serious disease.

The JCVI has recommended a booster dose for adults aged 75 years and over, residents in a care home for older adults, and individuals aged 6 months and over who are immunosuppressed.

Ms Morgan said the committee had considered UK and international data which suggests older people are at the highest risk of severe disease, if infected by Covid.

Patients should be offered the booster around six months after their last dose although the minister has allowed “operational flexibility” around the timing.

The latest XBB-variant vaccines – the closest match for the most predominant virus circulating patients - have been identified as the preferable option for the campaign.

These are the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna mRNA XBB 1.5 vaccines.

Ms Morgan said: “As ever, I am extremely grateful to the NHS and everyone involved in the vaccination programme for their continued hard work to help keep the most vulnerable in our societies safe and protected.”

The spring rollout marks four years since the World Health Organisation awarded Covid-19 pandemic status.

The UK was the first country to launch a national vaccination programme, starting December 8, 2020.