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Autumn COVID booster rollout to start in September with new Moderna Omicron jab

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Eligible adults in Wales have begun to be invited for their COVID-19 autumn booster this week, with brand new Moderna Omicron jab being offered.

The Welsh Government say the roll-out will begin at the start of September 2022 to help boost the immunity of those at higher risk from COVID-19, improving their protection against severe illness and to protect the NHS over winter 2022-23.

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They are also urging people to take up the flu vaccine when offered to protect against seasonal flu.

A single dose of COVID-19 vaccine will be offered to residents in a care home for older adults and staff working in care homes for older adults and frontline health and social care workers.

All adults aged 50 years and over, people aged five to 49 years in a clinical risk group, people aged five to 49 years who are household contacts of people with immunosuppression and people aged 16-49 who are carers will also be offered the autumn COVID booster.

Those eligible aged over 18 will be offered the newly approved Moderna vaccine which protects from both the original COVID virus and the Omicron variant.

Under 18s will be offered the Pfizer vaccine.

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The Welsh Government say that both vaccines will be offered at least three months after a previous dose.

Eligible adults will mostly be invited via letter to attend a vaccination centre, GP or pharmacy for their autumn booster vaccination.

Health Minister Eluned Morgan said: “As the UK moves from a period of pandemic emergency response to recovery, our focus will be on protecting those in society who continue to be more at risk of severe COVID-19.

“Vaccines have had an enormous impact on the course of the pandemic and have helped to weaken the link between the virus, serious illness, hospitalisations and death. They have saved countless lives and given us the freedom and confidence to restart our lives.

“I urge anyone who is eligible and invited to have the autumn booster this year to take up the offer and I thank everyone working on the vaccination programme in Wales.”

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Health boards are being advised to give both the COVID-19 and flu vaccination at the same time where possible, particularly for people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), to maximise take up and ensure more people are protected this winter.

The UK is the first country to approve use of the new Moderna bivalent COVID-19 vaccine that protects against both the original strain and Omicron variant of the virus.

It was approved for use as a booster jab on adults by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) on Monday (15 August).

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