Covid-19: UK extends administration of third dose of vaccine to over 40s

At the dawn of a new wave of contamination by the coronavirus in Europe, the United Kingdom is tightening its vaccination policy and announced, Monday, November 15, that those over 40 could soon receive a third dose of vaccine.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson called on his fellow citizens to be cautious in the face of an increase in contamination which has led “Our friends from the continent” to reinstate restrictions. “History has taught us that we cannot afford to be complacent”, he insisted during a press conference.

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Austria decided to confine unvaccinated people on Sunday and the Netherlands reinstated partial containment. The United Kingdom is among the countries most bereaved by the Covid-19 pandemic, with more than 143,000 dead. The number of cases “Increasing in the United Kingdom”, stressed Mr Johnson, “We must be vigilant”.

Second dose for adolescents 16 and 17 years old

Around 12.6 million people in the UK have received a third injection of the Covid-19 vaccine, including those over 50, frontline caregivers and people with health conditions that make them more vulnerable.

Experts from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunization (JCVI), the committee advising the government on its vaccination campaign, recommended Monday to extend this recall campaign to over 40s with, as a priority, the vaccine from Pfizer-BioNTech or half a dose of Moderna. The JCVI also recommended that adolescents aged 16 and 17, who were initially offered a single injection, be given a second dose of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine at least twelve weeks after the first.

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As soon as these recommendations were made public, the Minister for Health, Sajid Javid, announced the extension of the recall campaign, stressing that the four nations of the United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland) “Intend to follow the advice of JCVI”. Mr Javid said he asked the public health service, the NHS, to “Prepare to offer a vaccine to eligible people as soon as possible”.

“Quite hectic in the coming months”

For several weeks, the British government has been insisting on the importance of recalls to avoid a chaotic winter with hospitals overwhelmed with Covid-19 patients, or affected by seasonal viruses such as the flu. “At Christmas and during the winter period, we can expect respiratory viruses to be present and we are particularly worried that the flu will return and aggravate our problems”, said Jonathan Van-Tam, deputy chief medical officer for England, during a press conference on Monday. “It could be quite hectic in the coming months”, at-il having you.

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“We know that immunity to Covid-19 starts to wane after six months, and new data released today shows that a third dose increases protection against symptomatic infections by more than 90%. This underlines how important it is that all eligible people receive their reminder as soon as possible ”, further underlined the Minister of Health. He said the JCVI would continue to examine whether the administration of the third doses of the Covid-19 vaccine should be extended to people under the age of 40.

The World with AFP

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Covid-19: UK extends administration of third dose of vaccine to over 40s