Over 70s could get booster Covid vaccine doses from September, minister reveals

27 March 2021, 10:29 | Updated: 27 March 2021, 10:35

People over the age of 70 could start receiving booster Covid jabs from September, vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi has said
People over the age of 70 could start receiving booster Covid jabs from September, vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi has said. Picture: PA

By Sam Sholli

People over the age of 70 could start receiving booster Covid jabs from September, vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi has said.

Mr Zahawi made the revelation as more than 29 million people in the UK so far had a Covid vaccine first dose.

Nadhim Zahaw told the Daily Telegraph the first booster jabs would go to the top four priority groups, which includes the over-70s, NHS and care workers and the clinically extremely vulnerable.

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The vaccines minister also told the newspaper that September would be the "most likely date" for booster doses to start being administered.

According to Mr Zahawi, Deputy Chief Medical Officer Jonathan Van-Tam thinks "that if we are going to see a requirement for a booster jab to protect the most vulnerable, [it] would be around September".

He also said the Government is seeking to have eight vaccines available by the autumn, with some made in the UK and one that can guard against three different variants through a single jab.

Mr Zahawi also revealed that, to tackle vaccine hesitancy among younger people, drive-through jab centres could be set up across the UK.

He told the Daily Telegraph: "We did some fantastic pilots of drive-in jabs that went really well. And again, as we go down the cohorts in the current deployment you're going to see more of that.

"It's a great way as you do the under-50s, the under-40s, under-30s.

"Convenience becomes a much greater tool to deploy because you want to make sure for those people, where we think there may be greater hesitancy, we make it as convenient as we can make it."

Meanwhile, latest figures show a quarter of people in England aged 80 and over are now fully vaccinated against Covid.

At present, an estimated 87% of people who are aged 50 and over in England have received their first dose of the vaccine.