We are committed to getting safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines to the UK public. This means ensuring that existing COVID-19 vaccines can continue to be used in the most effective way possible.
We confirmed on 9 September 2021 that the COVID-19 vaccines made by Pfizer and AstraZeneca can be used as safe and effective booster doses. This is an important regulatory change as it gives further options for the vaccination deployment programme which has saved tens of thousands of lives.
The regulatory decision followed a careful review of available data on safety and effectiveness of booster or supplementary vaccine doses by the MHRA and the independent Commission on Human Medicines (CHM, which advises the government.
We have also now looked at data for the Moderna vaccine to be used as a booster, and this has also been reviewed by the CHM experts who concluded that the Moderna vaccine can be used as a safe and effective booster dose, including in a half dose, which also gives an effective boost to antibodies.
The CHM took into account data on waning vaccine effectiveness after the second dose, providing important insights into potentially waning immunity.
The data reviewed showed that giving the booster jabs with flu vaccines at the same time is safe and does not affect an individual’s immune response to either vaccine. Therefore COVID-19 booster doses may be given at the same time as flu vaccines.
We have in place a comprehensive safety surveillance strategy for monitoring the safety of all COVID-19 vaccines and this surveillance includes booster jabs.
As with first and second doses, if anyone has a suspected side effect, please report it to us using our Yellow Card scheme.