Millions of Brits in their forties can book a booster Covid jab from TODAY and 16-17-year-olds can secure slot for second dose – as Sajid Javid says vaccines will help UK avoid European wave

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  • Eight million Britons in their 40s are now eligible for booster COVID injections
  • Data shows jabs increase protection against symptomatic COVID by over 90%
  • Health Secretary says vaccines are best way for UK to avoid wave of infection

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Millions more Britons become eligible for COVID vaccines today as Booster Drive begins accepting bookings for people in their forties.

An additional 8 million people aged 40 to 49 who have been double-vaccinated can secure an appointment for their third jab six months after their second dose.

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they can do this through NHS Booking Services website, or by calling 119. Data shows third dose top-up protection against symptomatic COVID above 90%.

Health Secretary Sajid Javid said vaccination was the best way for the UK to avoid a wave of infections spreading across Europe.

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He indicated yesterday that the booster could be offered to Britons of all ages in the coming months.

Teenagers aged 16 and 17 – who were earlier eligible for only one dose – can now book their second COVID vaccine as well.

Older teens will be given a second vaccine 12 weeks after their first jab because evidence shows that longer intervals reduce the risk of side effects.

Officials delayed deciding on a second dose while they examined reports of heart inflammation in young people.

So far, more than half of 16 and 17-year-olds have come forward for the first dose of the jab.

It comes as countries across Europe are being forced to reimpose harsh lockdowns and other social restrictions in response to a new wave of delta versions.

Britain is believed to be benefiting from the fact that it released all restrictions during the summer much earlier than the rest of the continent, which pushed up the spread of infections.

Millions more Britons became eligible for the COVID vaccine today as the booster program began accepting bookings for people in their forties (File)

Mr Javid said: ‘Getting your own COVID booster vaccine is the best way to keep yourself and your loved ones safe this winter and will help ease the pressure on the NHS.

‘While the government continues to monitor a wide range of data to ensure the country’s defense, we are very sad to see an increase in cases in parts of Europe.

UK Covid cases rise slightly, while infections in Europe: positive tests up 9.5% to 40,004 as deaths drop by two to 61 from last week

Britain’s Covid infections jumped nearly 10 per cent as Sajid Javid urged people to get their booster jab to ensure the nation can ‘wait for Christmas together’.

Health department officials reported 40,004 more cases on Sunday, up from 36,517 reported a week ago.

The death toll from the virus saw a 3 per cent drop, with 61 deaths reported yesterday compared to 63 on 14 November, bringing the UK total to 143,927.

Separate figures published by the Office for National Statistics show that 168,000 deaths have been recorded in the UK where Covid was mentioned on death certificates.

It comes as Europe plunged into a third day of violent genocide as thousands of people in Belgium took to the streets to protest the return of strict lockdown rules aimed at halting a rise in Covid infections across the continent.

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‘The most important thing we can do to stop a similar increase in this country is to jab – so please get your vaccines as soon as possible so we can keep the virus at bay.’

Vaccines Minister Maggie Throp said: ‘We must protect the gains made through our immunization program this winter, and I urge everyone to help make that happen.

‘Please get your boosters if eligible, and get your first and second doses if you haven’t already, to get vital protection during the winter to keep you and your loved ones safe.’

The Joint Committee on Immunization and Immunization (JCVI) last week approved booster vaccines for Britain in its forties.

It said people can come forward for them ‘with the belief that they are safe and effective’.

Aged people become eligible for the Pfizer or Modern jab — regardless of which injection they received for their first two injections — six months after their second dose, but five months after their second jab. You can book your appointment from now onwards.

About 1.5 million adults in their 40s in England were double-pocketed as of mid-May and are now eligible for their third dose.

And half (3.5 million) of people in their 40s in the country had both doses by June 24, so they could have a top-up dose by Christmas.

The decision was followed by the conclusion that COVID booster jabs provided more than 90 percent protection against symptomatic infections among those over 50.

The UK Health Protection Agency – which took over the ruling from the now defunct Public Health England – found that two weeks after receiving top up protection was 93.1 per cent for AstraZeneca recipients and 94 per cent for those receiving the Pfizer shot.

There is not enough time to measure the impact on hospitals and deaths, but officials claimed protections are expected to be ‘even higher’.

After two doses of either vaccine, the effectiveness against symptomatic disease tends to decline over time.

The JCVI said there is no evidence against hospitalization and death from COVID droplets over time among vaccinated people under the age of 40, but it will continue to monitor the data.

Meanwhile, JCVI also announced last week that all 16 and 17-year-olds should be offered a second COVID test 12 weeks after their first dose.

About 800,000 children aged between 1.2 million 16 and 17 in England had received their first dose of the vaccine by 14 November.

The advisories said the second injection increases the level and duration of protection of adolescents against the virus, while potentially reducing the risk of further transmission and hospitalization among vulnerable contacts.

The JCVI initially held off on recommending a second dose for…

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