Our Cardiomyopathy UK Support Nurse, Jayne has answered some of the commonly asked questions regarding the autumn 2022 Covid booster.
Who will receive an autumn 2022 Covid booster vaccination?
The following groups should be offered a Covid-19 booster vaccine in the autumn of 2022:
- Residents and staff in a care home for older adults (priority group)
- Frontline health and social care workers
- All adults aged 50 years and over (priority group aged over 75 years of age)
- Persons aged 5 to 49 years of age in a clinical risk group *
- Persons aged 5 to 49 years who are household contacts of people with immunosuppression
- Persons aged 16 to 49 years who are carers.
*Chronic heart disease and vascular disease: including people with a diagnosis of cardiomyopathy and those with heart and circulatory conditions.
When will I receive my autumn booster vaccination?
The autumn booster is being offered from September 2022 with likely completion in December 2022. Boosters are being offered in priority order, so you will be invited by your GP to attend for your booster when it is your turn.
- As long as you are registered with a GP in England you can also book your autumn booster here: Book or manage a coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination - NHS (www.nhs.uk)
- In Scotland you can take an online assessment, Self-help guide: Winter vaccines | NHS inform to find out if you are eligible to receive a winter booster and how you will be contacted by NHS Scotland.
- In Northern Ireland, you can wait for your GP to contact you, or if you are eligible you can book here: Get a COVID-19 vaccination in Northern Ireland | nidirect
- In Wales, you need to wait to be contacted by your health board.
Which vaccine will I be offered?
You will be given a booster of either the Pfizer, BioNtech or Moderna vaccine, this may be different to your initial vaccination. The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) reviewed data from several different vaccine combinations prior to recommending an mRNA vaccine as a booster. The JCVI advise accepting whichever booster is offered.
What is the Moderna bivalent Covid 19 vaccine?
In August 2022, the UK became the first country to approve the use of Moderna’s bivalent Covid-19 vaccine for people over 18. 'Bivalent' means that the jab can be used to protect people against both the original coronavirus and the Omicron variant BA.1. You might also see it referred to as a ‘dual vaccine’, ‘dual variant vaccine’ or ‘Omicron booster’.
The ‘COV- BOOST’ trial published in May 2022 indicates that a fourth dose of mRNA Covid-19 vaccine (such as that offered by Moderna and Pfizer) – is effective at boosting immunity.
What are the possible side effects of the autumn booster?
Side effects from the booster are usually mild and should last a few days. The most common side effects of the booster are:
- Pain or heaviness in the arm and shoulder area where you had the injection
- Feeling tired
- A headache
- Fever or chills
- Aches or muscle pain
- General flu-like symptoms
Is myocarditis more common after the covid booster?
Cases of myocarditis (inflammation of the heart muscle) following booster vaccination are usually mild and those affected have generally felt better quickly. There have been rare cases of myocarditis following Pfizer and Moderna vaccination. Myocarditis is more likely to be caused by Covid-19 infection than vaccination. Vaccination helps to reduce the likelihood of other serious complications of Covid-19.
Is the booster safe if I have a heart condition?
Yes. The booster is safe for people with heart conditions such as cardiomyopathy. The booster you will get is one of the existing vaccines that has been approved for use in the UK. No vaccine is approved unless it is deemed safe for people with long-term conditions.
Should I have the Covid booster if I have had myocarditis or pericarditis in the past?
Having myocarditis or pericarditis in the past does not necessarily mean that you would be at increased risk of myocarditis or pericarditis following Covid-19 vaccination. If you are unsure we advise you to ask your cardiologist, cardiac nurse or GP.
Do I need to have a booster if I have had Covid recently?
Yes, it is important to have a Covid-19 booster if you have had Covid recently, although you will need to wait between getting Covid and receiving your booster. See here: Book or manage a coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination - NHS (www.nhs.uk)
Can I receive my flu vaccination at the same time as my Covid booster vaccination?
The flu and mRNA Covid vaccines may be offered at the same appointment. It has been deemed safe to do so by the medicines regulator (the MHRA), however, for logistical reasons you might be offered these at separate times, there does not need to be an interval between these.
Cardiomyopathy UK advises people diagnosed with cardiomyopathy to take the booster when and if offered.