UK: Boris Govt Plans to Offer THIRD Covid Vax Dose to Over-50s from September

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The British authorities are planning to offer a third round of coronavirus vaccine doses to over-50s alongside flu shots from September, claiming that “we will need to ensure protection against flu as well as maintaining protection against Covid-19” as winter descends.

The over-70s, care home residents, frontline healthcare and social care workers, and over-16s with immune conditions will be prioritised for the third jab, according to The Telegraph, followed by over-50s, younger adults eligible for flu shots, and those in close contact with people who have immune conditions.

Officials are said to be considering a so-called “mix and match” approach with respect to this third round of jabs, with decision-makers mulling whether to offer people who have been double-dosed with the Oxford-AstraZeneca viral vector vaccine a dose of the Pfizer mRNA vaccine, people who have been double-dosed with Pfizer vaccine a dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine, etc. — although no final decision on this has been made as of the time of publication.

Britain’s new Health Secretary, Sajid Javid, has welcomes what he described as “interim advice” on giving people more shots, saying that the Boris Johnson administration’s “vaccination programme is restoring freedom in this country, and our booster programme will protect this freedom.”

Professor Jonathan Van-Tam, the Deputy Chief Medical Officer for England, said that “Where the UK has reached so far on vaccination is truly fantastic” but “we need to keep going and finish giving second doses to those remaining adults who have not had them”, and that “this is the best thing we can do to prevent the disease from making a comeback which disrupts society later in the year.”

Of the plan to offer a third round of shots to over-50s, he said that “Being able to manage Covid-19 with fewer or no restrictions is now heavily dependent on the continued success of the vaccination programme. We want to be on the front foot for Covid-19 booster vaccination to keep the probability of loss of vaccine protection due to waning immunity or variants as low as possible. Especially over the coming autumn and winter.”

“Fewer or no restrictions will mean that other respiratory viruses, particularly flu, will make a comeback and quite possibly be an additional problem this winter, so we will need to ensure protection against flu as well as maintaining protection against Covid-19,” he warned.

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