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Booster Covid jabs 'to be rolled out from September'
2 August 2021, 08:10 | Updated: 2 August 2021, 08:12
A booster vaccine programme is set to begin next month with 32 millions Brits in line for a new jab, according to a report.
The plan could see up to 2,000 pharmacies give out 2.5 million third doses a week amid concerns about a potential waning of protection afforded by vaccines.
The Telegraph said people aged over 50 and the immunosuppressed will be offered a third shot of a vaccine in the campaign, which could begin from September 6 and run to December.
It comes after the UK passed 85 million vaccine jabs as the Government tries to get young people to receive their doses.
That figure includes 46 million first jabs and 38 million second doses.
Health Secretary Sajid Javid tweeted: "Another major milestone reached with more than 85 million #COVID-19 vaccines administered across the UK, saving tens of thousands of lives and preventing millions of infections. If you haven’t already, please do your bit and get your jab!"
Meanwhile, on Sunday, 24,470 further Covid cases were confirmed across the country, while another 65 people had died within 28 days of testing positive for coronavirus infection.
It took the UK’s toll to 129,719, while Office for National Statistics figures suggest there have been 154,000 fatalities where Covid was mentioned on the death certificate.
The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) set out two stages for a booster programme in interim guidance.
If that plan is followed, the most vulnerable 15 million people in the UK - over 70s, health and care staff, older care home residents, the immunocompromised and the clinically extremely vulnerable - would be the first to get a third jab.
The second phase of the plan would see over 50s, adults over the age of 16 who usually are offered a free NHS flu jab, those aged 16-49 in a Covid at-risk group, and people who are in regular contact with someone who is immunocompromised get their jab.
While officials have said a third dose may not be needed, the Government's science advisers have said they don't want to take any chances.
Professor Wei Shen Lim, Covid-19 chairman for the committee, said: "The JCVI's interim advice is that, should a booster programme be required, a third Covid-19 vaccine dose should be offered to the most vulnerable first, starting from September 2021 to maximise individual protection and safeguard the NHS ahead of winter.
"Almost all these people would also be eligible for the annual flu vaccine and are strongly advised to have the flu vaccine.
"We will continue to review emerging scientific data over the next few months, including data relating to the duration of immunity from the current vaccines. Our final advice on booster vaccination may change substantially."