Booster vaccine announcement has caused huge confusion for people with asthma

Responding to the announcement of the JCVI advice for the Covid-19 booster programme, Sarah Woolnough, Chief Executive of Asthma UK says:

“The announcement about the COVID-19 booster vaccine programme has caused huge confusion yet again to millions of people with asthma. While the interim guidance reassured us that everyone on the flu jab list would be entitled to get a booster jab, today’s announcement suggests this is no longer the case. The government has used the phrase ‘underlying conditions’ to talk about who will be eligible for the booster jab, but our understanding based on the information announced today is that this doesn’t necessarily include everyone with asthma who is on the free flu jab list. It is extremely disappointing and worrying.

“We have been campaigning on behalf of people with asthma, repeatedly explaining to the JCVI and government that it is currently impossible for GPs to identify everyone with asthma who is at a high risk of being seriously ill with Covid-19 and setting out that the only way to ensure people don’t slip through the net is to give the booster jab to everyone on the free flu jab list. This includes people with asthma prescribed a preventer inhaler.

“While most people with asthma will have had two Covid jabs and may have good protection from Covid-19 for some months, we want to ensure at the point people’s immunity wanes that they are protected by a booster vaccine. We are calling for the UK government to publish all the evidence behind the decision and urge them to review the booster list to include people with asthma under 50 when they need it.”