Health Secretary Sajid Javid has announced that a fourth jab will be offered to millions across England in a bid to tackle waning immunity.
Those aged over-75 as well as immunosuppressed people will be offered another jab to top up the protection received from the previous three doses. Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland are expected to make similar announcements
For many, the NHS will offer the fourth dose to individuals that had their first booster around six months previously, though full details are still to be released.
According to data from UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), the majority of the UK’s most vulnerable population had their booster between September and October 2021.
The news comes after the the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) formally advised a fresh booster rollout for those that are viewed as the most vulnerable to commence in spring 2022. Pfizer or Moderna vaccines will be given to those who receive their fourth jab.
Sajid Javid said: “Thanks to our Covid-19 vaccination rollout, we are already the freest country in Europe. It has saved countless lives, reduced pressure on the NHS and is allowing us to learn to live with the virus.”
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced a new “living with Covid” plan later today, which includes an end to the legal requirement to isolate after a positive Covid test.
“All four parts of the UK intend to follow the JCVI’s advice. We know immunity to Covid-19 begins to wane over time,” said Javid. “That’s why we’re offering a spring booster to those people at higher risk of serious Covid-19 to make sure they maintain a high level of protection. It’s important that everyone gets their top-up jabs as soon as they’re eligible.
“The JCVI will keep under review whether the booster programme should be extended to further at-risk groups.”
This rollout comes ahead of another booster programme expected to take place in autumn 2022.