The Liver Unit understands the anxiety of patients and their families regarding the current vaccination programme and terminology being used.
The Chief Medical Officer of NI has adopted the JCVI advice which is very clear that the current vaccinations for transplant recipients and other severely immunosuppressed individuals are THIRD PRIMARY DOSES and not booster doses (regardless of what has been told to patients in letters or verbally up to this point).
The Liver Unit staff are simply passing on the chief medical officer/JCVI advice. The Liver Unit strongly recommend following the instructions in the letter they have issued to patients to book your third primary dose.
Please do NOT contact the Liver Unit to seek approval on an alternative pathway to vaccination as the staff will be unable to give alternative advice.
For the small number of patients who were initially told they were given a ‘booster’ dose in September, please be reassured the vaccine you have been administered is considered your third primary dose and you will not be disadvantaged when booster doses are rolled out in future. You do NOT need a fourth vaccination dose at this stage and should not seek to book a further vaccination with the letter received recently from the liver unit.
Please keep the letters you have recently been issued as these will likely be required to facilitate booster doses in approximately 6 months when details have been confirmed by JCVI/government.