Plans for a Covid ‘booster jab programme’ in the autumn will be set out in the next few weeks.
The announcement comes after doctors and NHS trusts said the roadmap for a rollout must start now as there will be bigger challenges to be met.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock confirmed the government was waiting for results of the trials from different combinations of vaccines and stressed that many questions still needed answers, including how long the immunity from the original Covid jab might last. Among the ongoing trials is the UK’s Cov-Boost, which is testing different combinations of third doses across England. The UK could also benefit from new vaccines from Novavax and Valneva, which are awaiting approval from the UK’s medicines regulator.
Speaking to reporters this morning Mr Hancock said:
“We are currently trialling which combinations of jabs are the most effective. In the next few weeks, when we get the clinical data through on what’s the most effective combinations to have… then we’ll set out all the details for the booster programme to be rolled out during the autumn.”
People have been rushing to get their vaccines in recent days, with more than one million jabs booked on Friday and Saturday in England after vaccinations opened to all over-18s. So far, nearly 60% of UK adults have had two jabs of the vaccine, meaning they are fully vaccinated, and more than 82% of adults have had their first dose. The issue of whether children will be vaccinated is still to be decided.