To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they made of the impact on (1) the health and wellbeing of school staff, (2) the manner in which COVID-19 is transmitted in education settings, and (3) the health of children and young people at school, when deciding not to include school staff, teachers and support staff in the list of eligible categories for the COVID-19 booster vaccine.
In considering the eligible categories for the COVID-19 booster vaccine, the Government is guided by the independent expert Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) on COVID-19 vaccinations. On 15 July 2022, the Government accepted advice from the JCVI on the eligibility criteria for the autumn booster vaccination programme in 2022.
The JCVI advised that the primary objective of the booster vaccine programme is to increase immunity in those at higher risk from severe illness, hospitalisation and death in winter 2022/23. The JCVI’s assessment of eligibility considered that while the vaccines offer good protection against severe outcomes in vulnerable individuals, it provides relatively brief protection from non-severe symptomatic disease. Therefore, the JCVI advised that the following should be eligible for an autumn booster dose: all adults aged 50 years old and over; those aged five to 49 years old in a clinical risk group, including pregnant women; those aged five to 49 years old who are household contacts of people with immunosuppression; those aged 16 to 49 years old who are carers; residents in a care home for older adults and staff working in care homes for older adults; and frontline health and social care workers.
The JCVI's current advice is that only school staff, teachers and support staff at higher risk from severe COVID-19 illness in these eligible groups will be offered a COVID-19 booster vaccination, in addition to children aged five years old and over who are at clinical risk.