Free NHS flu jabs and Covid boosters to be scrapped for people aged 50 to 64

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has announced its advice regarding persons who will be eligible for a COVID-19 booster vaccines with otherwise healthy people between the age of 50 and 64 not being offered it.

Similar advice had been published for flu, meaning 12 million people will no longer be eligible for the free jabs. It follows reports the NHS will delay vaccine rollout with the drive not set to step up until October to maximise protection for over-65s and others eligible during the peak winter months.

The scaling back of the flu programme is an attempt to get the NHS "back to normal" following the pandemic, with the rollout also expected to start later to ensure better protection through winter.

JCVI said to optimise winter protection jabs should be administered by early December. 

Uptake of both flu and Covid jabs among those aged between 50 and 64 dropped last winter. Some 40.6 per cent in this age group in England came forward for a flu vaccination in 2022-23, down from 45.7 per cent the year before.

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