We Can’t Vaccinate the Planet Every Six Months, Says JCVI Chief

Professor Sir Andrew Pollard, the head of Britain’s vaccine body, has said fourth jabs should not be offered until there is more evidence as he warned that giving a new dose to people every six months was “not sustainable”. In an interview with the Telegraph the Chairman of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) also said there was no point in trying to stop all infections, and that “at some point, society has to open up”.

Speaking to mark the first anniversary of the AstraZeneca jab rollout last January, Sir Andrew said: “The worst is absolutely behind us. We just need to get through the winter.”

He wants lockdowns to be consigned to history, adding: “At some point, society has to open up. When we do open, there will be a period with a bump in infections, which is why winter is probably not the best time.

“But that’s a decision for the policy makers, not the scientists. Our approach has to switch, to rely on the vaccines and the boosters. The greatest risk is still the unvaccinated.”

Sir Andrew cautioned against blindly following Israel and Germany, which have given the green light to a second set of boosters to all over-60s.

“The future must be focusing on the vulnerable and making boosters or treatments available to them to protect them,” he said. 

“We know that people have strong antibodies for a few months after their third vaccination, but more data are needed to assess whether, when and how often those who are vulnerable will need additional doses.”

Vaccines can rapidly be adapted to fight new variants, but he said: “We can’t vaccinate the planet every four to six months. It’s not sustainable or affordable. In the future, we need to target the vulnerable.”

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