The Health & Social Care Secretary has accepted independent advice from the JCVI to extend the booster programme to people aged 40 and over, and offer a second dose to people aged 16 to 17.
The 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.
According to the latest stats, 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. The latest figures come in a week of major milestones, with England reporting a total of 90 million first, second and third doses being administered on Thursday, and 80% of over 12s now having had 2 doses.
The government are expanding the programme even further and have accepted 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 Health Secretary has asked the NHS to prepare to offer these booster jabs as soon as possible.
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% – this highlights just how important it is that everyone eligible gets their top-up jabs as soon as possible.
The JCVI will keep under review whether the booster programme should be extended to all people under the age of 40.