UK to roll out fourth Covid-19 booster vaccine doses to all 50 and over

LONDON: The UK government on Friday announced that it would be rolling out a fourth dose of the Covid-19 vaccine as a booster shot for everyone aged 50 and over to boost protection against coronavirus and prevent hospitalization during the winter months.
Scientific Advisor to the Independent Joint Committee on Immunization and Immunization (JCVI) recommended an additional dose be given during the fall months.
The set Health and Social Care (DHSC) said it has accepted that advice and will provide free doses of the drug to people over 50 and both healthcare workers and the National Health Service (NHS) workers in the coming months.
“I have accepted the Joint Committee on Immunization and Immunization Joint Committee independent advice to provide fall Covid-19 boosters to people 50 years of age and older, residents and staff in care homes. older adults, frontline health and social care workers, unpaid caregivers, individuals aged 5 to 49 years in clinical risk groups, and those with household contacts of people who are immunosuppressed,” said the Health Minister Steve Barclay.
“The virus is more contagious in colder seasons with people socializing inside, so the risk of contracting Covid-19 is higher. It is of the utmost importance that the most vulnerable groups get booster vaccinations to boost immunity against serious winter illnesses to protect themselves and reduce the pressure on the NHS,” he said. .
The vaccination scheme is also being expanded to include an annual flu vaccine, which is often given free of charge to the elderly and vulnerable groups.
“The flu virus can also be highly contagious this time of year, so today I am also announcing that those eligible for a free flu shot this year will include everyone aged 50 and over. years and older, primary school children and secondary school students ages 7, 8, and 9, as well as those in clinical risk groups, unpaid caregivers, and their household contacts. people who are immunosuppressed,” says Barclay.
The JCVI previously recommended that a fourth dose of Covid be administered to people over 65 years of age.
But the independent advisory body has now revised its guidance after looking at the BA.4 and BA.5 Omicron waves of the virus.
“The Committee reviewed the recent epidemiology of waves BA.4 and BA.5, as well as the benefits of adapting the Covid-19 program to the deployment of influenza vaccines, concluding that the expansion of supply would provide the necessary protection for those at higher risk, the JCVI said.
It came as the latest National Statistics Office The data shows a 29% increase in the number of Covid-19 infections in the country in the past week.
The figure of nearly 3.5 million positive test results in the week to 6 July is the largest number since mid-April, but still well below the UK record high of 4.9 million reported. reported at the end of March.

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