The decision to roll out Covid booster jabs for millions of Britons has divided the UK vaccine watchdog, Granthshala With some members of the committee understand that the policy has become politicised.
A third vaccine dose is to be offered to more than 30 million people in the coming months, following the recommendations of the Joint Committee on Immunization and Immunization. All over 50, medically vulnerable persons and health workers will be eligible, assuming they have been fully vaccinated for more than six months.
But the advice comes amid concerns within the broader scientific community that booster jabs are only needed for select groups, such as the immunocompromised and clinically vulnerable, and do not need to be rolled out collectively.
These thoughts have divided the JCVI, Granthshala Reportedly, “many” members are believed to be opposed to the UK programme, which begins next week.
“There has been disagreement about the value of booster jabs,” said a JCVI insider. Another suggestion is that the number 10 is “hanging on something that looks vaguely good and vaguely positive”.
Senior government health sources say double jabbing remains a priority for all Britons ahead of booster jabs – but Professor Jonathan Van-Tam likens the program to campers preparing for an oncoming storm, saying that “a few extra boys It was better to lay the ropes” tents now “wait until midnight and thunder with wind and rain”.
It is expected that the rise in cases of covid, flu and other respiratory diseases could be a “bump” [winter] several times”, England’s chief medical officer told a Downing Street briefing on Tuesday. “We are in an active phase” [of the pandemic] Even then.”
JCVI sources said it was right to offer immunity booster jabs to around 500,000 people in the UK, followed by the medically vulnerable. But for other eligible groups, such as those in their 50s, it is unclear what other protective benefits against serious illness and death will be obtained, he said.
“If the government is trying to send signals that boosters for over 50s – already in vaccination – this winter could put pressure on the NHS to limit limits, forcing some restrictions to prevent infections So it’s simply wrong,” said one of the JCVI members. The second JCVI figure said that the basis of the program appears to be “political, not clinical” in nature.
Government health sources said they did not yet know how the booster program would affect hospitalization rates given the current paucity of real-world data, but “there is every reason to believe it will be good”.
The recommendation for JCVI is drawn from several encouraging clinical studies, including the Cov-Boost study, which showed a manifold increase in antibodies following the third vaccine dose.
The ongoing administration of booster jabs in Israel, where the latest wave of infections in the country now leads to hospitalizations, has also raised hopes among officials that Britain’s own program will be effective in maintaining high safety levels this winter. Will happen.
A study published Tuesday by Public Health England meanwhile found that there is “some sign” of decreased protection from hospitalization from 15 weeks after the second dose, especially among those receiving the AstraZeneca vaccine. However, the analysis noted, this reduction appears to be predominantly in clinical risk groups, such as the immunocompromised.
“There is now quite good evidence that this is the case,” Professor Chris Whitty said during Tuesday’s briefing, while Sir Patrick Vallance said vaccines generally protect “very well” against hospital admission and death.
JCVI sources said that the flu vaccine also needs to be given more priority. In what is the largest NHS program of its kind, the jab or nasal spray vaccine is to be offered to more than 35 million people, but there are concerns that logistical challenges and supply chain issues could derail these efforts.
And amid the focus on COVID, there is also concern that the administration of vaccines against other infections such as the human papillomavirus (HPV) may be affected.
According to the minutes of a JCVI meeting held in June, teen vaccinations across the UK have dropped by 20 per cent during the pandemic.
“But the priority of the government is clear that everything stops for Covid,” said a JCVI source. “Covid is the only thing in town.”
In addition to the mixed evidence, the debate about booster programs has also centered on the need to vaccinate the rest of the world before a third dose is given to the double-jabbed.
The head of the Covax facility, a global vaccine-sharing initiative set up to secure doses for poor countries, said on Monday Granthshala That the UK’s booster program would be “counter-productive”, arguing that the supplies used for 30 million Britons would be used to better protect people in poor countries who live without vaccinations.
Credit: www.independent.co.uk /