It follows a reference from the government’s vaccine advisers, the JCVI, who recently said about 30 million people should be provided with a third dose of the vaccine.
They said the booster should be given at least six months’ gap after a person had their second dose of the vaccine- with the Pfizer-BioNTech jab recommendation.
Those who are eligible include young adults, over the 50s with health conditions and all the frontline health care workers.
Health Secretary Sajid Javid made a clear announcement in the Commons as part of an autumn and winter plan for handling Covid in England.
According to First Minister Nicola Sturgeon Scotland will start offering boosters jabs for the larger group from Monday.
She further said the programme” was anticipated to extend the protection” of vaccines and will run alongside the flu vaccination programme.
The recommendation of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) comes with quick concern about weakening immunity.
There are some symbols of protection offered by the vaccine that may start dropping off several months after the second dose- with the most susceptible groups most at risk of this.
In his statement, Mr Javid expressed to MPs that “There is evidence that the protection provided by Covid 19 vaccines lessens over time, mostly older people who are at the greater risk, so booster doses are an crucial way of keeping the deadly virus under control for the long term”.
The JCVI said it was still uncertain precisely how much protection does slip, but it required to take a precautionary attitude towards the most vulnerable people to preserve high levels of protection.
The advice is distinct to the current recommendation of third doses for people with severely weakened immune systems- which is already being rolled out.
Those who are eligible for the booster dose include:
- Those who live in residential care homes for older adults
- All adults over 50 years of age
- Frontline health and social workers
- Adult household contacts of immunosuppressed individuals
- All those in between 16 to 49 years old with underlying health conditions that might put them at more risk of severe COVID-19.
A Plan Amid Big uncertainty, Covid booster will work!
There is a big amount of uncertainty about what the winter will bring. In fact, till now it’s not clear that the next month will bring winter. According to the experts which were feared that September could see the rise of COVID cases worldwide, but there are so many signs of that happening yet.
Big flows in infection levels are perhaps chasing us, given the amount of immunity built up in the population.
But if present levels are continued throughout winter, then the NHS will struggle and even a small dip in vaccine efficiency could make a large difference to admissions- that’s the reason the booster announcement takes place.
Further, there is a worry about the return of respiratory viruses. They were controlled last year by lockdowns and social distancing, but that has meant immunity to them has diminished.
A virus called RSV- the leading cause of breathing illness in young children is already socialising at very high levels. Flu could also take off in such situations and that’s the reason NHS is having to prepare for the worst situation, while hopeful for the best.
Trails have been carried out in the UK looking at the use of booster doses.
The JCVI said these displayed Pfizer was well-tolerated and built a good immune response, against new variants of the virus, such as Delta, regardless of which Covid vaccine had been given for the first two doses.
It said where Pfizer was not obtainable a half-dose of Moderna could also be used.
For those people who can’t have the Pfizer or Moderna because of issues like allergies, the AstraZeneca vaccine can be used as a booster.
A gap of six months is highly mandatory in between the second dose and the booster shot was considered the most effective for the boosting safeguard.
The trials also presented the flu vaccine can also be given at the same time as the booster jab where that is practical-some people will be offered a flu jab before they become qualified for a Covid booster.
Rough winter forecasted Covid booster highly required!
The chairman of JCVI Prof Wei Shen Lim said that the UK’s Covid vaccination programme has been highly successful in keep guarding people against hospitalization and death, and the main goal of the booster programme is to extend that protection and reduce severe diseases as we head towards the colder months.
He further said even a small tip in vaccine effectiveness could have a massive impact on hospital admission numbers.
He said those who are under 50 likely to have a more long-lasting immune response to the first two doses of the Covid vaccine so may not need a booster immediately although he did not rule it out happening totally.
The deputy chief medical officer of England Prof Jonathan Van said that the United Kingdom was likely to be in for a “Rough Winter” with Covid, coupled with other respiratory viruses, such as flu.
He further said the booster programme was about protecting citizens on top of the Covid and could make a very significant impact on deaths and hospitalization. The report says almost 85% of deaths in current weeks have been among the over 60s.
Trying to evade restrictions by the Covid booster Programme
The big declaration comes after the government confirmed on Monday that children aged 12 to 15 in England would be offered one dose of the Pfizer Jab, with invitations going out from next week.
It trails instruction from the UK’s Chief medical officers, who say the jab will assist decrease interruption to education.
A rollout is yet to be declared in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
In a statement before the declaration on the booster programme, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said while the pandemic “is far from over, the Phenomenal vaccine programme, new treatments and testing” which mean the UK is now able to live with the virus without major restrictions on our freedoms.
Pm who later hold a press conference said that he would lay out a plan for the months ahead “when the virus has a natural advantage, to defend the gains we have prepared.