Covid booster jabs for all Brits this winter is NOT possible, warns expert

BRITS expecting a third dose of a coronavirus vaccine this winter have been warned that it might "not be possible" for everyone to get an additional booster shot.

One expert today said that the process of administering extra jabs won't be straightforward.

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Professor Adam Finn, from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) also suggested that an extra dose might not actually be necessary.

So far in the UK more than 43.6million Brits have received a first dose of the vaccine and 31.9million have had two.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said plans for extra jabs would be announced in weeks and that data on the potential for booster vaccines would be available in the coming days.

But Prof Finn said there is still "a high level of uncertainty" over whether booster vaccinations will be needed this autumn.

Speaking to Sky News he said booster doses might be needed in order to avoid the risk of a winter surge, but added that it's not clear if everyone would need one.

He said: "We will learn as we go along.

"It's not really going to be feasible to go all the way around and do everyone straightaway – as we've already seen it has taken more than half a year to work our way through the population.

"And although vaccine supplies will increase, it's a massive exercise to go around and immunise everyone again, and that may well not let it not turn out to be necessary, so we'll see as we go."

Prof Finn explained that if booster doses are rolled out then they should be given to people who had the first vaccine the longest time ago, and those who are at high risk of getting seriously ill if they are infected.

"So that would include the very elderly and potentially healthcare workers as well, who got the vaccines earlier on in the year.

"So I don't think this is a certainty yet, but I think there's a high probability that at least some boosting will need to go on this winter", he added.

NHS providers have warned that the service would need time to prepare for a roll out of booster shows,

Earlier this week Chris Hopson, chief executive of NHS Providers said the jabs needed to be "business as usual" rather than an emergency response.


He told Times Radio: "There are a bunch of questions that really do need to be answered in terms of looking forward to the next phase."

These include: how long protection lasts, whether people can "mix and match" the vaccines they have had, how new vaccines will be incorporated into the vaccine roster.

Since the start of the pandemic vaccine have been hailed as the way out, and Prof Finn said they are important at making sure people don't become seriously unwell with the virus.

Infections in the UK have risen in recent weeks, but hospitalisations and deaths have remained at low levels.

Many events have started to run once more and people are starting to mix again in social settings.

Asked whether he agrees with former chief medical officer Professor Dame Sally Davies, who said people who have had two vaccinations should continue to be careful, Prof Finn said: "Yes. Vaccines are very important for this, they definitely reduce your risk of both infection and passing it on but they don't eliminate it entirely.

"The safety of putting people together who have been vaccinated is greater than people who are unvaccinated, but if there's a lot of virus circulating there will still be infections taking place."

Many test events being run by the government require either the proof of double vaccination or a negative test 24 hours before the event.

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