The Speaker
Thursday, 18 July 2024 – 18:43

Coronavirus booster jabs could begin in the UK this Autumn

The UK could begin a coronavirus ‘booster jab’ campaign as early as this September, the Government has said.

An increasing number of people are being vaccinated against COVID-19, with over 50 million vaccine doses delivered in the UK in total since the start of December. In the coming weeks and months, all UK adults over the age of 18 are set to be offered a vaccine against the virus.

While current data shows the vaccines to be particularly effective, it is thought that the antibodies which the vaccines help to create in humans may weaken over time. The antibodies won’t necessarily last for a lifetime, and so plans are underway for a booster jab campaign which could potentially launch later this year.

A booster coronavirus jab would be an additional vaccine dose on top of the two doses currently being offered to people. It is expected that a third wave of coronavirus may hit the UK at some point in 2021, so booster jabs could help to provide extra protection against this. 

Exact details of how booster jabs may be rolled out are still being worked on, in preparation for a possible campaign of further campaigns later this year or early next year.

The World Health Organization has though called on wealthy countries to send spare vaccine doses to countries around the world before organising extra jabs. A number of countries in Asia including India are currently experiencing huge spikes in virus cases, and many countries do not have the same strong levels of vaccine supplies as the UK.

Speaking to the BBC, Special Envoy on COVID-19 for the World Health Organization David Nabarro said that coronavirus around the world is “bigger than ever, it’s fiercer than ever and it’s causing more distress than ever”

Coronavirus restrictions are expected to be lifted further in the UK from 17 May as cases continue to fall. Vaccines are expected to continue playing a key role in helping governments respond to COVID-19 – both in the UK and around the world.

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