By Tony Winterburn • 28 March 2021 • 8:39
UK To Give Over 70s Booster Jab In September In Bid To Counteract Three Covid Variants. image: UK GOV
UK To Give Over 70s Booster Jab In September In Bid To Counteract Three Covid Variants.
The UK’s vaccine minister has said that over-70s, health and social care workers, and those who are clinically extremely vulnerable could begin to get booster shots against new coronavirus variants as early as September.
Nadhim Zahawi said the first booster jabs would be given to those in the top four priority groups; those over 70, NHS workers and care home staff, and the clinically extremely vulnerable.
In an interview with the Telegraph, Zahawi also revealed that ministers were expecting up to eight different vaccines to be available in the UK by the autumn, including one jab which has the potential to protect from three different strains of coronavirus with a single dose.
A number of the hoped-for vaccines will reportedly be manufactured in the UK, a move that could relax pressure on supplies as tensions escalate with the European Union, which faces a shortage of the AstraZeneca vaccine.
Dr Mike Tildesley, who advises the Government on the Spi-M modelling group, said it was “good news” that September has been suggested for boosters, but warned the arrival of new variants must be stalled.
“In the shorter term, we are worried about new variants, but if we can keep these out for a longer period of time, enough time for these boosters to be developed, then that should hopefully protect us as we go into the winter,” he told Times Radio.
Ministers were facing continued pressure to protect the success of the vaccination programme against the import of new variants from overseas, with officials meeting on Friday, March 26, to consider expanding the travel “red list” mandating hotel quarantine.
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