Nine million to get booster jabs early: Boris Johnson urges experts to cut six-month wait for third Covid vaccine to speed rollout over fears of a winter surge 

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  • If a decision is made immediately, around nine million more Britons will be eligible for a third dose
  • There is growing concern that the rollout of the COVID Booster scheme has been very slow
  • Former Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt called on ministers yesterday to reduce waiting times to five months
  • Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s intervention suggests JCVI may be asked to rethink timeline

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Boris Johnson pressured his scientific advisers last night to cut the waiting time for booster jabs from six months to five.

If a decision is made immediately, around 9 million more Britons will be eligible for a third dose of the vaccine.


There is growing concern that the rollout of the Covid booster plan has been too slow, putting the public at risk as cases rise. Currently, people 50 and over with health problems are invited to have their jab six months after their second dose.

Former Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt called on ministers yesterday to reduce the waiting time to five months.

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Mr Johnson admitted it was a ‘very important point’. The six-month deadline was imposed by the government’s advisors on the Joint Committee on Immunization and Immunization (JCVI). The Prime Minister’s intervention suggests that the JCVI may be asked to revisit the timeline.

Speaking during a visit to Northern Ireland, Mr Johnson urged people over 50 to come forward and get their booster jabs as soon as they became eligible – saying it was important to ‘strengthen’ defenses against the virus .

‘The most important thing people can do now is to get that booster jab. You get the call, you get the jab. We’ve already done about four million booster jobs, but everyone over 50 should get that jab as soon as you’re eligible.

‘We are in a better position to move into autumn/winter now than we were 12 months ago, incomparably better, because the vaccines have given us a massive level of protection.

‘Ninety percent of the adult population still has antibodies, but we strengthen ourselves the most.

‘The numbers are high, we can see what’s happening, we can see the increase, it’s time to get those booster jabs on.’

Earlier in the day, Mr Hunt said: ‘At its peak in the spring, we were waking up to 400,000 people a day. Now it’s less than 200,000 a day.

Boris Johnson admitted it was a ‘very important point’. The six-month deadline was imposed by the government’s advisors on the Joint Committee on Immunization and Immunization (JCVI). PM’s intervention suggests JCVI may be asked to revisit timeline

‘If you look at the high hospitalizations, cases and death rates compared to countries like France and Germany, the focus isn’t really on things like wearing masks and Covid passports, it’s their high vaccine immunity.

Fully waxed only on the third dose?

Britons may need up to three Covid jabs to be classified as ‘fully vaccinated’, with the aim of increasing booster uptake.

The change could see people who have received only two doses be denied entry to crowded places if ministers go ahead with controversial plans for vaccine passports and restrict travel abroad. Is.

Downing Street said yesterday that officials were looking into whether to change the definition of ‘fully vaccinated’ status in the future, but had no plans to do so at the moment. A spokesman said: ‘Further work is being done by clinical experts on that.’

Speaking last month, Deputy Chief Medical Officer Jonathan van Tam said that ‘there was no current idea of ​​Covid certification in terms of boosters’.

Asked if he would consider fully vaccinating people if he didn’t have three jobs, he said: ‘I agree that as a scientist he doesn’t have optimal protection on board.’


‘How hard and fast should that rule be on the decision that people can’t get a booster jab until six months after their second job? Does it really matter, when there are only nine weeks until the Christmas holidays, if someone only has a booster jab after five months?

‘Shouldn’t we look at some flexibility on that decision, so that we can get more people for their booster jobs more quickly?’

Responding, Vaccines Minister Maggie Thrup did not indicate that a change was on the horizon.

“JCVI has advised that there should be at least six months after the second jab, but I would like to assure the House that immunity does not fall by the edge of a cliff,” she said. ‘It’s come down a little but not enough, so there’s still time for people to come out.

‘Obviously, we’re encouraging them to come forward as soon as possible, but they still have a huge amount of immunity over people who haven’t gotten their first jobs yet.’ But later the official spokesperson of the PM suggested that JCVI could be under pressure.

‘We want to move on to the booster as quickly as possible,’ he said.

“More than 55 lakh people have been invited, more than 40 lakh doses have been given so far and we want to move forward on that as soon as possible.

‘As you know, JCVI currently recommends a time period of six months … so it is only when those people qualify that we are able to provide their boosters.’ Asked about Mr Hunt’s call to reduce waiting times to five months, the spokesperson said: ‘Currently there is a gap of six months on the advice of the JCVI. Obviously, we would expect them to keep this under review and we would be in a position to move on that if they want to change the advice.’ This comes as a new study confirmed the importance of a third dose for increasing safety.

The study showed that the booster shot of BioNTech/Pfizer vaccine is 95.6 percent effective against Covid-19 as compared to two shots and a placebo.

Ugur Sahin, head of BioNTech, said ‘significant data’ added to the body of evidence suggesting that a booster dose could help ‘protect a broader population of people from this virus and its variants’.

Vaccine Q&A: How do I book a booster?

What is a covid booster jab?

A booster is the third dose of a covid vaccine. The particular brand of vaccine you receive – Pfizer/BioNTech, Modern or Oxford/AstraZeneca – may be different from the vaccine you received for your first and second doses. The booster helps improve protection from your first two doses. This is because the resistance imparted by two jabs begins to decline after about six months.

Who is eligible for the booster? Anyone over the age of 50 who has had their second dose at least six months ago.

Young people with health conditions that put them at greater risk of becoming very ill with Covid are also due to a booster as well as frontline NHS and care home staff.

When will I get my booster?

You will be offered a booster jab about six months after your second dose. The NHS is contacting people about six months and a week after their second dose, inviting them to take their jobs. It is important not to contact the NHS before this. Frontline health or social care workers can book a booster appointment online and do not have to wait to be contacted by the NHS.

can i get one? When you become eligible you should receive a text, letter or phone call from your GP to arrange a booking.

However, if you had your second jab six months ago and still haven’t been contacted, you can now Book your booster online through the NHS website, or by calling 119.

Where are the boosters being taken out? NHS England says there are 2,200 vaccine hubs across the country, ‘most’ stocking boosters.

There are now fewer mass vaccination centers than in the first rollout, with an emphasis now on local pharmacies and GP surgery. A full list of features that Booster offers can be found at When booking online.

How many boosters have already been delivered? 4.05 million, but 8.7m are eligible. Has been asked to expedite the rollout. Eventually adults over 30m will qualify for the booster.

Which vaccine will I get?

Most will be offered a booster dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech Vaccine or Moderna Vaccine. This means that your booster dose may be different from the vaccines you gave for your first and second doses. Some people may be offered a booster dose of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine if they are allergic to Pfizer/BioNtech or Moderna Vaccine.

Can I get my COVID jab if I am getting the flu vaccine?

Most people who can receive the COVID booster vaccine are also eligible for the annual flu vaccine. If you are given both vaccines, it is safe and effective to take them at the same time or in either order.


Do not panic! He is the expert who has got every covid prediction right. Now read Philip Thomas’s unique analysis of new infection fears – and why there’s nothing to fear

by Philip Thomas for the Granthshala

Sajid Javid’s warning this week could not have been more dire. The health secretary said the rate of infection from Covid is now rising rapidly, with Britain on top of 100,000 infections per day in the coming weeks.

That’s a huge number – it would be far higher than the nearly 70,000 daily rate reported at the height of the winter wave last Christmas – and has brought with it calls of inevitable doom…

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