Covid booster jabs for 32m to begin next month

Covid booster jabs for 32m to begin next month
Patients will get a jab in each arm – one for flu and another for Covid – under current plans

Booster vaccinations against Covid-19 will be offered to as many as 32 million Britons from early next month alongside flu jabs, it has been reported.

The campaign could start as soon as 6 September over fears the efficacy of Britain’s earliest jabs may begin to decline.

Ministers are planning to deliver an average of almost 2.5 million third doses a week to adults aged 50 and over and immunosuppressed patients of all ages, the Daily Telegraph reported.

Proposals have been drawn up for the Covid-19 vaccine to be co-administered alongside the flu jab, with one injection in each arm mooted.

However, final details remain with the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI).

The government says 85 million doses of Covid vaccine have been administered so far, with 88 per cent of adults receiving their first shot and 72 per cent both doses.

The booster scheme was first announced at the end of June, but is being prepared by the JCVI based on latest advice and the ever-changing picture on nationwide infections.

“As is common with flu, winter will lead to rising cases and further pressure on the NHS,” the Department for Health and Social Care said last month.

“The JCVI’s interim position on booster vaccinations is to ensure the protection that has been built up in the population does not decline through the winter months, and that immunity is maximised to provide additional resilience against variants.

“As most younger adults will receive their second Covid-19 vaccine dose in late summer, the benefits of booster vaccination in this group will be considered by the JCVI at a later time when more information is available.”