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Autumn vaccinations will help boost immunity against respiratory viruses

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All Island residents aged 50 and over, along with individuals in further at-risk groups, will be among those offered a COVID-19 booster and a seasonal flu jab this autumn to ensure increased protection ahead of winter.

Both the autumn COVID booster and flu jab will strengthen the immunity of those more susceptible to respiratory viruses and aim to keep more people out of hospital, especially during the colder season when viruses are spread more easily and health services are strained.

The booster announcement follows on from the interim advice from the UK’s Joint Commission on Vaccination and Immunisation in May, and will extend the booster offer to:

  • Residents in a care home for older adults and staff working in care homes for older adults

  • Frontline health and social care workers

  • All adults aged 50 and over

  • Those aged 5 to 49 years in a clinical risk group, including pregnant women

  • Those aged 5 to 49 years who are household contacts of people with immunosuppression 

  • Those aged 16 to 49 years who are carers

This year the flu vaccination rollout will again be extended to all adults aged 50 and over, pre-school and primary school children and those in secondary school years 7-9, as well as those in clinical at-risk groups.

Minister for Health and Social Care, Lawrie Hooper MHK, said:

‘As in autumn 2021, we will be offering a COVID booster jab and a flu jab to those who are more vulnerable to respiratory viruses. Having both vaccines will help create a shield against both of these viruses, boosting immunity over winter and helping to protect health and care services by reducing demand.

‘Vaccinations have been our key defence against this pandemic allowing us to return to a more normal way of life, and I would again urge everyone who is eligible to come forward and take up the offer of both jabs.’

Manx Care’s vaccination team is in the process of planning the autumn rollout and will provide further details closer to the time – please avoid calling 111 regarding this programme.

The Minister added:

‘Manx Care is still offering a spring booster to those who are eligible and anyone who thinks they should have had one is asked to ring 111.’

Full information on who is eligible for a vaccine and when to get one is available on the COVID website.