The COVID-19 booster programme will be extended to people aged 40 and over, and the NHS will offer a second dose to people aged 16 to 17, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has announced.
According to the DHSC, immunity to COVID-19 begins to wane after 6 months and new data published today shows a third dose boosts protection against symptomatic infection to more than 90%.
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‘Our coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination roll-out has been a phenomenal success, saving countless lives, reducing pressure on the NHS and helping us stop the spread of the virus,’ said Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid.
‘We are expanding the programme even further and today 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 4 parts of the UK intend to follow the JCVI’s advice.’
The UK has topped 12 million booster and third jabs given in total across the UK – with hundreds of thousands of people coming forward every day to get the vital protection offered by top-up jabs ahead of the colder months. A total of 12,164,586 booster jabs have now been given, with 340,943 recorded yesterday in the UK. According to the latest data, in the 7 days leading up to November 11, almost 2.5 million new boosters or third doses have been reported in the UK, which is the highest weekly increase so far.
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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,’ added Mr Javid.
‘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.’