COVID-19:Booter shots extended to 40-49 years old in UK

COVID-19:Booter shots extended to 40-49 year olds in UK

The Covid-19 booster vaccine deployment in the United Kingdom will be expanded to those aged 40 to 49 years old, officials announced on Monday (15), in an effort to improve decreasing immunity in the population ahead of the colder winter months.

All adults over the age of 50, those who are clinically fragile, and frontline health workers are already eligible for boosters, and the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has said that the program would be expanded.

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Health and social care secretary Sajid Javid said, “We know immunity to Covid-19 begins to wane after six months and new data published today (15) shows a third dose boosts protection against symptomatic infection to more than 90 per cent – this highlights just how important it is that everyone eligible gets their top-up jabs as soon as possible.

“I have accepted the advice from the independent experts at the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) to extend the additional offer of a booster jab to people aged 40 and over and offer a second dose of a vaccine to all young people aged 16 to 17 as part of the primary vaccination schedule. All four parts of the UK intend to follow the JCVI’s advice.

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“The JCVI will keep under review whether the booster programme should be extended to all people under the age of 40 and I look forward to receiving their advice in due course.

“This is a national mission – the vaccines are the best way to protect yourself and your loved ones and I urge everybody to get your jabs as soon as you can.”

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Persons who were initially given AstraZeneca’s vaccine had 93.1 percent protection against symptomatic disease following a booster, whereas people who were initially given the Pfizer shot had 94 percent protection.

The JCVI added the protection given by boosters against severe disease was expected to be higher.

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“Booster vaccine doses in more vulnerable adults, and second vaccine doses in 16–17 year olds are important ways to increase our protection against COVID-19 infection and severe disease,” said Wei Shen Lim, the JCVI’s Chair for COVID-19 immunisation.

“These vaccinations will also help extend our protection into 2022.”

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UK Prime Mimister, Boris Johnson, says he is relying on booster vaccines and doses for youngsters to help hospitals withstand winter pressures without resorting to another Covid lockdown.

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