HSS(MD) 75/2021 PATIENTS REQUIRING ASTRAZENECA VACCINE AS A BOOSTER

The JCVI advises a preference for an mRNA vaccine as the booster dose, irrespective of which vaccine was given in the primary schedule. There is good evidence that these vaccines will provide a strong booster response and all patients should be strongly encouraged to receive an mRNA vaccine as their booster dose.

However, there will be cases where mRNA vaccines cannot be offered e.g. due to clinical contraindication, or may be refused, thereby leaving the patient without receiving any booster dose. In those cases the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine may be considered for persons aged 40 years or over.

If a GP or Trust clinician decides that their patient is unable/unwilling to receive a mRNA vaccine as their booster dose they should issue them with a letter advising that they can receive the AstraZeneca vaccine via a community pharmacy. The patient should then be advised to make their own vaccination arrangements with a community pharmacy providing the AstraZeneca vaccine. Details of participating community pharmacy stores can be found via the NI Direct page on the COVID-19 vaccination programme.

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