Millions of Britons could need Covid boosters every six months for the foreseeable future, Dr. Jenny Harries, Chief Executive of the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) said on Monday. She suggested the most vulnerable “relevant groups” in society will still need regular top-up jabs. MailOnline has more.
Britain is still in a “period of uncertainty”, she said, despite all restrictions being lifted more than a month ago. Experts are unable to predict when a new variant may occur and how it could affect immunity from vaccines, she said.
Around eight million over-75s, care home residents and immunocompromised over-12s in England are eligible for fourth doses this spring. Fifth, and potentially even sixth jabs, will be rolled out to a wider group this autumn.
Dr. Harries was asked at a Public Accounts Committee today whether boosters would continue to be dished out every six months. Refusing to deny they could be topped up again after this fourth round of doses, she said: “For relevant groups, as per the evidence we have. The spring booster campaign we have is for those who are over 75, care home residents and those who are immunocompromised.”
Dr. Harries said: “The pandemic is not over so for the next 18 months, two years or so I think it will be a settling down period. There are a couple of issues about when we might get a new variant and we can’t predict that with any certainty. The Omicron wave was the fastest wave we have seen with a lot of uncertainty until our evaluative teams were able to assess how well vaccines were performing against it. The other issue is what [type of vaccine] we want to procure.”
Health advisers are currently in discussion over whether to invest in vaccines tailored specifically to new variants or buy more standard jabs.
Every six months? Better be sure there are no adverse effects from repeatedly taking this drug, then.
Worth reading in full.