Health

Britain starts planning for COVID-19 vaccine booster shots this fall

This British government is starting to plan for a COVID-19 vaccine booster campaign beginning in the fall after top vaccine advisers said it might be necessary to give third shots to the elderly and most vulnerable.

Government discussed giving vaccine boosters to the elderly and vulnerable as soon as September

Britain's Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) advised the government to plan for offering COVID-19 booster vaccines come autumn, starting with people 70 years old, care home residents and those who are immunosuppressed or vulnerable. (Frank Augstein/AP)

Britain is starting to plan for a COVID-19 vaccine booster campaign starting later this year after top vaccine advisers said it might be necessary to give third shots to the elderly and most vulnerable from September.
 
The government said that a final decision on whether a vaccine booster campaign was needed had not been made, but officials had advised that preparations should begin on a precautionary basis.
 
The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) advised that there should be a plan to offer COVID-19 booster vaccines from September, starting with people 70 years old, care home residents and those who are immunosuppressed or vulnerable.
 
Britain has given 85 per cent of adults a first COVID-19 shot, with more than 60 per cent receiving two doses.

The success of the vaccine rollout has seen Prime Minister Boris Johnson pledge to lift lockdown restrictions on July 19, even as cases of the highly transmissible Delta variant rise.
 
"We need to learn to live with this virus. Our first COVID-19 vaccination program is restoring freedom in this country, and our booster program will protect this freedom," health minister Sajid Javid said.
 
Data suggests that the current vaccines provide protection for at least six months, with more studies about the length of immunity and the effectiveness of booster shots expected in the coming months.

Government signs contract with Pfizer for future COVID vaccine booster shots

5 months ago
2:07
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spoke with the CBC's Tom Parry about the contract on Friday in Ottawa. 2:07

"We will continue to review emerging scientific data over the next few months, including data relating to the duration of immunity from the current vaccines," said Wei Shen Lim, COVID-19 Chair for JCVI.

"Our final advice on booster vaccination may change substantially."

The JCVI also said those offered boosters should also be given flu shots, adding that over 50s and people at risk from flu would be next in line after the highest priority groups.

The benefits of booster shots for younger people, many of whom are still getting their first and second shots, would be considered at a later date, the JCVI said.

Add some “good” to your morning and evening.

A variety of newsletters you'll love, delivered straight to you.

Sign up now

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?

now