Millions of Brits WILL get second Covid booster in weeks as restrictions set to lift

MILLIONS of vulnerable Brits will get another booster shot in spring, health chiefs confirmed this afternoon.

Around six months has passed since many had their top-up in autumn, with this rollout aiming to get ahead of any waning immunity.

It is not in response to any looming danger or concerns for people's safety, but rather to ensure those who could be most at risk remain fully protected.

Keeping up with boosters is the best way to stay protected from catching and spreading the virus, and ward off any new variants.

As Boris Johnson rips up Covid restrictions this week, the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) today revealed who will be offered another shot in a few weeks.

Brits over 75 years old, care home residents and people over 12 who are immunosuppressed can get another vaccine, as long as it's six months since their last shot.

They will be offered a choice of Moderna or Pfizer Covid jabs, with experts unsure what summer will bring but determined to keep immunity up in the vulnerable groups. 

Health chiefs also anticipate that, like flu, next winter could bring another wave of Covid challenges – with plans for an autumn vaccination programme likely to be drawn up.

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Variants and new strains could be as mild as Omicron has proven to be – especially in the vaccinated – but there is also a chance they could prove more severe, which is why vaccines are important.

It comes as Mr Johnson is set to reveal his strategy today for stripping back Covid laws and urging people to take personal responsibility after two years of rules and restrictions.

He is expected to rip up isolation laws forcing those testing positive to stay inside and will reveal plans to charge for Covid tests for all but those who really need them.

Health Secretary 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.

“Today I have accepted the advice from the independent Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) to offer, from spring, an additional Covid-19 booster jab to people aged 75 years and over, residents in care homes for older adults, and people aged 12 years and over who are immunosuppressed.

BOOST UP

"All four parts of the UK intend to follow the JCVI’s advice.

“Following the JCVI’s advice, I have asked the NHS to prepare to offer those eligible a vaccine from around six months after their last dose and they will set out further details in due course.

“We know immunity to Covid-19 begins to wane over time. 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."

Extending the rollout to people under 75 or in other at-risk groups will be kept under review, the Health Secretary said.

He urged Brits to get their boosters and make sure they have taken up all offers of jabs they are eligible for.

Many won't have had theirs after thousands were struck down with the bug over the Christmas period, and had to wait 28 days before booking back in.

Now is the time to make sure you've had your booster shot, to keep cases down and avoid spreading the bug as restrictions lift.

Professor Wei Shen Lim, Chair of Covid-19 vaccination on the JCVI, said: “Last year’s booster vaccination programme has so far provided excellent protection against severe Covid-19.

“To maintain high levels of protection for the most vulnerable individuals in the population, an extra spring dose of vaccine is advised ahead of an expected autumn booster programme later this year.

“The JCVI will continue its rolling review of the vaccination programme and the epidemiological situation, particularly in relation to the timing and value of doses for less vulnerable older adults and those in clinical risk groups ahead of autumn 2022.”

Yesterday the PM said “people should feel confident again” and urged the nation to “go back to work in the normal way”.

The PM will hail Britain’s bumper vaccine rollout as crucial to falling cases and the key to freedom.

But he will warn that Covid is not yet completely over — and scientists will need to monitor it going forward.

Ministers have already secured 114million vaccine doses for the next two years.

The latest figures showed a further 74 people died in the previous 24 hours after testing positive for Covid. It takes the total death toll to 160,581.

Meanwhile, 25,696 new cases were reported yesterday.

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