As federal health regulators in the U.S. are now proposing a plan to implement an annual Covid vaccination schedule, the United Kingdom's government is taking a very different approach. They are dialing back on vaccine recommendations for all, instead focusing more on the high-risk population groups.
As the transition continues away from a pandemic emergency response towards pandemic recovery, the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has begun to consider the 2023 Covid-19 vaccination programme. The current Omicron era is characterised by:
- high levels of population immunity acquired through vaccination and/or natural infection
- lower disease severity compared to infection due to previous SARS-CoV-2 variants
During this time, the risk of severe Covid-19 continues to be disproportionately greater in those from older age groups, residents in care homes for older adults, and persons with certain underlying health conditions. Compared to the initial phases of the pandemic, much more is now understood regarding SARS-CoV2 infection.
However, there remains ongoing uncertainty regarding virus evolution, the durability and breadth of immunity, and the epidemiology of infection.
These uncertainties limit the immediate development of a routine immunisation programme against Covid-19.Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) Statement, Updated Jan 27, 2023
Read the complete JCVI statement on the Covid-19 vaccination program for 2023 here.
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Peter Loken says
I believe WHO & CDC knew early on those age 60 and above were the most at risk. Measures focused on that group, and leaving younger alone to live their lives, would have made a monumental difference.