Spring Covid-19 booster for immunosuppressed children

2 mins read

Tuesday 14 March 2023

The government has confirmed the Joint Committee for Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI)’s recommendations for a Covid-19 vaccine booster roll-out this spring.

Those eligible for an additional vaccine dose includes anyone over five years old who is immunosuppressed. Adults 75 and over and residents of care homes for older adults can also get a vaccine booster. Children under 12 will receive a children’s formulation of the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine.

The NHS will contact you if you or your child is eligible for a booster dose.

Who is immunosuppressed?

The definition of individuals who are immunosuppressed is set out in tables 3 or 4 in the Covid-19 chapter of the Green Book.

It includes those with genetic conditions that affect the immune system and those with auto-immune diseases who may require long term immunosuppressive treatments.

What about children in clinical risk groups?

Children and adults in clinical risk groups (as defined in the Green Book p22 [PDF]), but who are not immunosuppressed, are not eligible for a vaccine booster this spring.

This marks a change in the booster programme since last Autumn, when this group could receive an additional dose.

The booster programme – which offers a top-up dose on top of “primary doses” of the Covid-19 vaccine – will run seasonally. The JCVI will advise the government who it recommends receive a booster before each roll-out.

My child has never had a Covid-19 vaccine. How many doses can they get?

The guidance varies depending on when they turned or will turn five.

See our Covid-19 webpage for more information on vaccine eligibility.