Official data suggests that as No 10 gets set to kick off the top up drive, only 1.6 million Britons are currently eligible for COVID booster vaccines.
Health chiefs yesterday unveiled proposals to offer a third shot to 32 million over 50s, frontline NHS workers and over 16s thought to be very vulnerable.
According to officials who signed off on the move due to waning immunity, people will only be called for a booster six months after getting their second jab because that seems to be the sweet spot, but the Department of Health numbers show only 1.6 million people in the United Kingdom, chiefly care home residents and frontline health workers, were completely vaccinated by March 15.
The United Kingdom didn’t breach the 30 million mark until June, meaning the campaign won’t be open to millions of vulnerable adults until much more like Christmas.
Experts told a newspaper outlet the decision to delay boosters by six months shouldn’t be cause for concern because the gap means people are only given a top-up dose as their immunity begins to fade.
But they warned it could be a problem for a small number of older and vulnerable people whose immunity falls faster than anticipated.
Booster shots of the Pfizer jab, or a half dose of Moderna, will be given to those eligible from next week, regardless of which jab they originally got.
Those who can’t get either of those two mRNA jabs, such as due to an allergy, will be given a dose of AstraZeneca’s vaccine.
The jabs will be dished out through vaccination centres, primary care networks and pharmacies and can be given at the same time as yearly flu jabs.
Department of Health bosses said the booster campaign will ensure the protection vaccines provide for those most at risk of severe illness from COVID, which will be maintained over the winter months.
It’s the first stage of the Government’s winter plan to circumvent another lockdown.
If hospitalisations grow swiftly, ministers have warned they could be forced to reintroduce face masks and work from home guidance.
The Prime Minister was told it’s better to act early, rather than dithering and having to go harder to fight off any surge later this year.
Government statistics show the UK hit 10 million second vaccinations on April 18, meaning the third dose rollout will not be open to a third of those eligible until mid-October.
We don’t really know what the long term effects are of having the vaccine, but I suspect that we’ll soon find out.
I probably won’t be getting my third jab anytime soon, thank you very much, unless the booster guarantees to make me super immune, improves my IQ and guarantees me living until 100 – oh, Superman, where are you?
And maybe it might make some men better in the sack, while women earn a better wage – if they’re not getting all that, then we’ve been conned.
Intelligent folk are the ones who trusted their gut instinct – some refused the jab, others chose to try it, it’s simply a matter of preference. But those that did refuse to take the jab have been relentlessly attacked by people online, in the workplace and even by family and friends, but some won’t bend because they want to obtain the facts about an experimental drug before they take it, and some won’t be coerced into having the booster with the mix and match.