Coronavirus booster jabs 'will keep virus at bay' says Javid
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Vaccine booster shots will be given to 32 million Britons beginning next month as the Government seeks to increase uptake among younger adults where it is currently lagging behind averages for other age groups. Express.co.uk has compiled a timeline to show when you might be able to get your coronavirus booster.
The coronavirus vaccination programme launched in the UK late last year.
Since it began the UK has been praised for a rapid rollout with 88.6 percent of adults having received the first dose so far and 72.7 percent double-jabbed.
The Government plans to provide Covid booster jabs to the most vulnerable groups from September.
The current Covid vaccines are shown to provide protection against severe disease for at least six months.
There is additional evidence of longer-lasting protection but boosters are still required and will be given to 32 million Britons beginning next month.
Up to 2,000 pharmacies will be equipped and prepared to deliver this programme.
Ministers are planning to undertake an average of almost 2.5 million third doses a week starting in the first week of September.
Pharmacies are due to be at the forefront of the booster programme to enable GPs and other NHS staff to focus on the backlog of patients waiting on other health services and treatments.
The Government said it plans to administer booster vaccines to the first groups between September 6 and December 17.
An additional 60 million Pfizer doses have been ordered in order to meet this demand for boosters.
Similar to the original vaccination programme, people in the priority groups will receive their booster doses first.
However, unlike the first and second doses, the booster programme will be undertaken in two stages.
The top priority groups will be split into two groups, before people under 50 are offered a booster.
Younger groups will be considered later as most will only have received their second dose in the late summer.
The following groups will begin receiving their Covid jabs from September 6:
- Adults aged 16 and who are immunosuppressed
- People living in residential care homes for older adults
- All adults aged 70 and above
- Adults aged 16 and who are clinically extremely vulnerable
- Frontline health and social care workers.
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The Government’s timetable the rollout should be completed by early December if it goes to plan.
It is hoped the timetable will leave at least a fortnight for the final people to get vaccinated and for it to be effective before Christmas.
The Government will be looking to administer an average 2.46 million jabs a week throughout the booster campaign in order to meet its deadline for finishing the rollout.
According to population estimates from 2011 census, each age group is likely to be invited to have the booster vaccine at the following times:
- Aged 80 and over: Week starting September 6
- Health and social care workers: Week starting September 6
- Aged 70 and over: Week starting September 20
- Aged 60 and over: Week starting October 11
- Aged 16 and over with underlying health conditions: Week starting October 18
- Aged 50 and over: Week starting November 8.
The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has recommended flu vaccines be administered at the same time as booster jabs to maximise uptake for both.
Whether people will receive a different vaccine from their first and second is still being decided as ministers wait for further results from the COV-Boost trial.
Results from another clinical trial last month showed mixing and matching doses one and two could improve the immune response, particularly for those who got the AstraZeneca jab the first time.
In a letter to senior health leaders, the NHS said results from a number of clinical trials are expected over the summer so plans will need to “flex as new information becomes available”.
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