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No new variant booster for under 50s?

42 replies

carefullycourageous · 16/08/2022 00:07

I have been reading about the new variant booster and see it is not going to be available for under 50s. This worries me as COVID is no bloody fun for people of all ages.

Is there any chance that in future those who want to get a booster privately will be able to?

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Flapjacker48 · 16/08/2022 12:12

I suspect it is very unlikely in UK that covid vaccines will be available privately this winter.

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LittleOwl153 · 16/08/2022 12:36

A quick Google found me an NHS letter suggesting COVID boosters will be available to all the vulnerable groups (adults that get flu vaccine etc) in Nov.

Personally I don't think it should be made available privately unless there is global excesses...

No new variant booster for under 50s?
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roarfeckingroarr · 16/08/2022 12:44

@LittleOwl153 why not? If we have our vulnerable groups covered, I think we should be able to opt in to a private booster.

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carefullycourageous · 16/08/2022 12:49

I also think it will not be available privately but am not thrilled not to be offered a booster - it is a nasty virus, much more risky for me than flu and I can get a flu jab if I want one.

Guess it is just another week off work potentially for me... I'm not impressed really. I am not sure what level of vaccine offer is going to be made in e.g. Germany, France, Ireland as a comparison.

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titchy · 16/08/2022 12:50

But if you're not entitled to a booster you wouldn't be getting anything so what different does it make that over 50s get the bivalent one?

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titchy · 16/08/2022 12:52

And the issue with private boosters is that globally I don't think there is enough supply so it's unethical that rich westerners can buy extra jabs when impoverished developing world dwellers cannot access even one.

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Tacocatgoatcheesepizza · 16/08/2022 12:52

If you’ve already had covid then it’s reasonably likely it will be milder if you get again (yes I am aware that’s not always the case but I’d bet that it is for most)

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maranella · 16/08/2022 12:55

I guess it's just about the continued limited availability of the vaccines OP. This one that's going to be offered to the over 50s this autumn is a brand new vaccine that's only just been approved and it's particularly effective against Omicron. Therefore, it makes sense to prioritise those most at risk of serious illness/death and leave the rest of us to fend for ourselves for now.

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carefullycourageous · 16/08/2022 12:55

titchy · 16/08/2022 12:50

But if you're not entitled to a booster you wouldn't be getting anything so what different does it make that over 50s get the bivalent one?

The new one is tailored to newer variants, I thought that was the point?

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carefullycourageous · 16/08/2022 12:57

This is what doesn't thrill me, yes: leave the rest of us to fend for ourselves for now

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MintJulia · 16/08/2022 12:58

I had my booster last Friday. I'm post-chemo which is why I got a letter.

It was me (50s) and a queue of octogenarians. I felt like a complete fraud 😕

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titchy · 16/08/2022 13:01

I'm confused what you're annoyed about. Is it that bivalent is being offered as a booster? Or that the booster is limited to certain groups rather than being for everyone?

I don't see either as a problem tbh. All drugs are targeted at where the benefit is the highest compared to the cost. That includes chicken pox vax, covid boosters and very expensive niche cancer drugs.

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SDTGisAnEvilWolefGenius · 16/08/2022 13:03

It's possible that they will announce boosters for under 50s once they know what the uptake has been from the booster roll out for over 50s, and how much vaccine they have on hand, @carefullycourageous. I do hope so, because I agree with you that Covid can be nasty at any age, and we should be protecting as many people as we can.

I had covid in Spring 2021, and ended up in hospital on oxygen, because my saturations dropped below 90%. Thankfully I didn't need intensive care, but my health is still heavily impacted by long covid. I get breathless just walking round the house, my chest is wheezy, I'm shattered all the time, and I've got definite brain fog - my memory and concentration have both been affected.

And I'm one of the luckier ones, I reckon. I don't work, and thanks to depression and anxiety, I didn't go out or socialise much before covid, and dh works mainly from home, and has been an absolute hero looking after me, the dogs and the house, whilst I've been able to do very little to help - so I can just take life slowly, and don't have lots of demands on me. It must be so much harder for someone with symptoms like mine who has a young family, a job, no help around the house. I'd hate for anyone to have to go through what I'm going through.

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gogohmm · 16/08/2022 13:08

They need to ensure they can roll it out to the priority groups, if there's still vaccine left they can drop the age category or include higher risk occupations eg public facing. I'm 49! so I won't be getting one unless my dr takes pity on me (I got a free flu jab due to vulnerable people in my household, not sure whoConfused)

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Goggin · 16/08/2022 13:15

There always has to be a priority. My DH has had 4 jabs now. A friend who is medically vulnerable has had 5. I'm over 50 and although healthy I am probably considered more vulnerable than family members in their 30s because of my age. I'll be offered one now, but it doesn't mean others won't be offered later.

It's the same with other medical programmes, eg routine mammograms start from 50, bowel cancer screening at 60 etc.

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MissTicPizza · 16/08/2022 13:18

@gogohmm I will be 50 in February and work in a school with close contact with pupils. I really want to have a booster! I've had an email from Boots saying that those who turn 50 by 31/03/23 will be eligible for a free flu vaccine. I'm really hoping they apply the same date to the covid booster (I think they did last year) but can't find any information confirming it.

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carefullycourageous · 16/08/2022 13:22

titchy · 16/08/2022 13:01

I'm confused what you're annoyed about. Is it that bivalent is being offered as a booster? Or that the booster is limited to certain groups rather than being for everyone?

I don't see either as a problem tbh. All drugs are targeted at where the benefit is the highest compared to the cost. That includes chicken pox vax, covid boosters and very expensive niche cancer drugs.

I'm not thrilled the booster is being restricted to over 50s, I think COVID is a risk (declinging by age) for all ages.

I understand there can be need to restict due to lack of availability - but if so, then say that. If it is not lack of availability, it should be offered to all.

The issue is they dont want to pay, presumably, as ever.

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carefullycourageous · 16/08/2022 13:23

*declining - by which I mean I of course know that the younger you are the lower your risk - but is a nasty bloody virus for many in all age groups.

A week off work is not ideal. The pretence that COVD is 'just a cold' is surely not still being peddled out?

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titchy · 16/08/2022 13:28

I understand there can be need to restict due to lack of availability - but if so, then say that. If it is not lack of availability, it should be offered to all.

Well Moderna haven't yet said they can definitely produce enough (they do think they can) so I think it's clear that availability may well be an issue.

It's resources overall though isn't it, it costs to deliver and take staff time to jab arms. All that needs taking into account. A nurse jabbing an arm isn't checking an IV in a cardiology ward or taking the BP of a pregnant woman or changing a dressing on an elderly persons ulcer. Resources are limited and are always used where they benefit is highest - that's why NICE exist, and now JCVI.

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lillyrabbit · 16/08/2022 13:34

carefullycourageous · 16/08/2022 13:23

*declining - by which I mean I of course know that the younger you are the lower your risk - but is a nasty bloody virus for many in all age groups.

A week off work is not ideal. The pretence that COVD is 'just a cold' is surely not still being peddled out?

It’s not a pretence - for a lot of people it IS just like a cold. I’m not for one second suggesting that that is true for everyone, but I must know of at least 100 people of love different ages who have had covid and found it no worse than a cold (myself, my husband, and parents included). Boosters have to be restricted to the most vulnerable, mostly due to the fact that it isn’t that easy to manufacture millions of doses of vaccine in a matter of weeks, regardless of cost. I’m late thirties and would much prefer the doses go to those more in need than me first; I expect the rest of us will be offered it in due course once the most vulnerable are protected. You can’t expect to be given the same priority as someone who is severely immune-compromised or elderly just so you don’t have to take a few days off work.

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SDTGisAnEvilWolefGenius · 16/08/2022 15:24

@lillyrabbit - I think the problem with covid is its unpredictability. Yes, for some people it is just a nasty cold, but others end up in hospital/ICU/dead, and it can cause major ongoing health problems too. As I said earlier, I had covid last Spring, was in hospital, and still have long covid, that leaves me breathless just walking round the house, exhausted all the time, and brain-fogged.

I haven’t ever heard of the common cold causing so many deaths/hospitalisations, nor of it causing health problems lasting months or longer, and we have no way to predict who will or will not be severely affected by covid - which, for me, is why it IS more than ‘just a common cold’

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maryso · 16/08/2022 15:45

About half a million CEV people many who register zero antibodies even after a handful of vaccines cannot access Evusheld privately in the UK. Our Government's decision despite having a stockpile of supplies. Assuming transitivity in the economics, where does that put non-vulnerable under 50s? Covid vaccines are emergency prophylactics, not paracetamol, even if we seem to expect them on demand.

Also it's not a given that the bivalent will be used in the autumn, we don't have enough at the moment and the JVCI has explicitly said take whatever you're given, it'll still stave off hospitalization and death. Perhaps those who are content they seem unaffected by a multi-organ impact disease would opt out forever of the autumn booster, thereby easing the vaccine shortage?

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PeloAddict · 16/08/2022 15:47

MintJulia · 16/08/2022 12:58

I had my booster last Friday. I'm post-chemo which is why I got a letter.

It was me (50s) and a queue of octogenarians. I felt like a complete fraud 😕

That was me at my last one (I'm 38!)
Think I'm due a 5th, need to check actually

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PeloAddict · 16/08/2022 15:58

And I booked my 5th! Bit late in doing it as I was trying to fit it around work but v easy to book

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megletthesecond · 16/08/2022 16:15

I'm 48 and hope I'm either given a jab or can pay for one. I oay for a flu jab and have no time to be downed by covid for a few days.

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