Covid: Study on vaccine effectiveness released in UK
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The UK Government has purchased 35 million more doses of the Pfizer vaccine ahead of their plan to offer booster jabs to the most at-risk groups. But when will you be offered the third jab? And who will be offered it first?
Health Secretary Sajid Javid has announced the booster programme as part of the Government’s winter covid plan, as the UK braces for a rise in infection rates over the winter.
The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has made its recommendation for booster jabs over the coming months.
Mr Javid has confirmed 30 million people will be offered a booster.
In his statement outlining the strategy for autumn and winter 2021, Mr Javid said: “There is evidence that the protection offered by Covid-19 vaccines reduces over time, particularly older people who are at greater risk, so booster doses are an important way of keeping the virus under control for the long term.”
The third jab will be offered six months after the second dose.
The UK has agreed to buy 35 million more doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid vaccine to prepare for booster shots this autumn.
According to the GOV.UK figures, nearly 42 million people in the UK are now double-jabbed.
This update comes at the same time as the Government announces vaccination roll-out for 12 to 15-year-olds.
So, when will people be offered vaccine boosters?
Mr Javid said people in the listed groups can expect to be invited for their third jab as early as “next week.”
The plan is to roll out the vaccine booster between September and December 2021.
Who will get vaccine boosters first?
Following the initial Covid vaccine roll-out, the most clinically vulnerable categories will be invited to receive a vaccine booster first.
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Stage one of the booster vaccine roll-out will see five groups being invited to get their vaccine first. These are:
- those living in residential care homes for older adults
- all adults aged 50 years or over
- frontline health and social care workers
- all those aged 16 to 49 years with underlying health conditions that put them at higher risk of severe COVID-19
- adult household contacts of immunosuppressed individuals
Professor Wei Shen Lim, Chair of COVID-19 Immunisation for the JCVI, said: “The UK’s COVID-19 vaccination programme has been hugely successful in protecting people against hospitalisation and death, and the main aim of the booster programme is to prolong that protection and reduce serious disease as we head towards the colder months.
“The JCVI is advising that a booster dose be offered to the more vulnerable, to maximise individual protection ahead of an unpredictable winter.
“Most of these people will also be eligible for the annual flu vaccine and we strongly advise them to take up this offer as well.”
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