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All over-50s to ‘get a third Covid jab in autumn’ to stop third wave – so Britain never needs another lockdown

All over-50s to ‘get a third Covid jab in autumn’ to stop third wave – so Britain never needs another lockdown

 A THIRD jab is set to be offered to over 50s this autumn in an attempt to tackle new variants and keep Britain firmly out of lockdown.

The third shot will be given with the annual flu jab, as either a new vaccine designed to fight variants or another dose of an existing shot. 


A third jab is to be offered to over-50s this autumn
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A third jab is to be offered to over-50s this autumnCredit: Getty
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Professor Neil Ferguson said the booster jab could spell the end for lockdowns forever.

The expert, who warned hundreds of thousands would die if Britain didn't shut down, said there "may be a need to roll back on some of these measures" if a new variant appeared but believed this was unlikely.

A senior government minister also told The Times: “We will have a lot to say about the booster programme soon. It’s looking really positive so far.

“We think that the level of protection in the population to any variant will be so high that by Christmas, Covid-19 should have just faded away into the background like any other illness in circulation.

“So much that we don’t think there will be any need to give a booster shot to young people because transmission will have got so low."


It comes as:


With the current vaccines successfully guarding Brits against the Kent variant, the protection they offer to other variants is much weaker.

It is also believed that it will be necessary to give the third jab to those who have underlying health conditions or those who are at risk.

In March it was announced that over-70s will be given a Covid booster jab from September under new government plans.

Vaccines chief Nadhim Zahawi said some people will be given three vaccination doses within the first 10 months of the jabs being in use.

Those in the top four priority groups for the original rollout – over 70s and frontline NHS and social care workers - will be the first to get the booster jabs, The Telegraph reported.

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Vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi
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Vaccines minister Nadhim ZahawiCredit: Alamy

Mr Zahawi also told the paper that ministers were expecting up to eight vaccines to be available by the autumn, including one that could protect against three different Covid variants in a single jab.

Asked when the booster jabs would begin, Mr Zahawi said: "The most likely date will be September.

"Jonathan Van-Tam [the deputy chief medical officer] thinks that if we are going to see a requirement for a booster jab to protect the most vulnerable, [it] would be around September.”  

But today the vaccines minister insisted the decision on who will get booster jabs, and when, still "hasn't been made" yet.

He insisted it will be up to the chief medical officers of the four UK nations to make a call on how the rollout is done.

And he added the Government has bought enough jabs so it will be able to begin immediately no matter what conclusion they come to.

BRITAIN'S BOOST

He said: "We want to give the scientists as much optionality, as many options to be able to deploy a booster.

"We have to make that available and the NHS team is already planning to be ready to deploy from September onwards.

"But the decision hasn't been made as to whether we go in September, or later in the year, or early next year.

"That depends on the clinicians and how they feel the protection has lasted for the most vulnerable groups, and of course virus variants."

Prof Van Tam is leading a trial into which booster shot goes best with each original jab to provide maximum protection.

It means people who had the AstraZeneca shot initially may be given a Pfizer one later in the year to further bolster their protection.

Meanwhile, 60 million extra Pfizer vaccines have been secured for the UK, they will add to the UK’s growing armoury of vaccines – with deals now in place for 517 million shots of eight different types.  

Addressing the nation at a Downing Street press conference on April 28, Matt Hancock said: "The vaccine is helping us to bring back our freedom and we must protect that programme."So we are working on our plans for booster shots too. To keep us safe and free here, while we get this disease under control across the whole world, we have been working on a programme of booster shots for over a year now.

"I'm delighted to tell you we've been able to secure an extra 60 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine."

Speaking alongside him, deputy chief medical officer Professor Jonathan Van-Tam said meetings between fully vaccinated people are "incredibly safe".

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15 MILLION Brits have had second Covid jab as majority over-70s and clinically vulnerable now fully vaccinated

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