Covid vaccine: Over-40s in Wales to be offered booster and 16 and 17-year olds get second jab

All adults over the age of 40 should be offered a booster, six months after their second dose.

All over-40s in Wales will be offered a third dose of the Covid-19 vaccine as the booster programme is extended, whilst 16 and 17-year-olds will now get a second jab, according to the Welsh Government.

The announcement comes on the same day that the use of NHS Covid passes is extended to cinemas, theatres and concert halls in Wales.

On Monday the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) said all adults over the age of 40 should be offered a booster, six months after their second dose.

It has also said that 16 and 17-year-olds should come forward for a second dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech jab - which should be given at least 12 weeks after the first.

Coronavirus booster jabs give more than 90% protection against symptomatic infection in adults aged over 50, according to a study by the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA).The JCVI said people should be offered the Pfizer or Moderna jab as a booster, irrespective of which vaccine they had initially.

Eluned Morgan said the Welsh Government's intention is to follow the clinical and scientific evidence.

Wales' Health Minister Eluned Morgan said the Welsh Government would make a decision on whether those aged 18-39 would be offered the booster jab "pending further evidence."

She said: "As most younger adults will have received their second dose in late summer or early autumn, they will still have a high level of protection."

Ms Morgan said: "I would like to thank the JCVI for their considerations and advice and for taking care to form a balanced view.

"Our intention, as it has been from the start of the pandemic, is to follow the clinical and scientific evidence and therefore we accept the JCVI's advice.

"We will work with NHS Wales to take this advice forward and will keep members updated."

So far, some 12.6 million people have had a third Covid-19 jab. Credit: PA

The announcement's been welcomed by the Welsh Conservatives.

Shadow Health Minister Russell George said: “This news, much welcomed by the Welsh Conservatives, signals further confidence in the efficacy of the vaccine and is testament to the success of the vaccination programme across the UK.

“While it is positive that older teenagers will get their second jab, rolling out boosters should be the overriding priority of Labour ministers as this, not ineffective and overbearing vaccine passports, is what is protecting society."

Initially, advice offered in early August saw a recommendation that healthy 16 to 17-year-olds should be offered a first dose of the Pfizer vaccine.

JCVI chairman Professor Wei Shen Lim said there might have been "some reluctance to have a first dose of vaccine in 16 to 17-year-olds because of concerns around safety", but added that data available shows that "it is looking much safer than was feared initially".