ECONOMY

Ministers to set out plans for Covid ‘booster’ jabs


T

he Government is to set out plans for Covid booster jabs as ministers unveil their blueprint for “living with the virus” through the winter.

It is expected all over 50s will be offered a third jab – starting with the over 70s and the most vulnerable.

The shot of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine will be administered at least six months after the second dose amid concerns the protection it gives to older people fades over time.

Ministers believe it will help ensure the NHS is not overwhelmed by new cases of the disease as it moves into the autumn and winter.

Health Secretary Sajid Javid will set out details in a Commons statement (Aaron Chown/PA) / PA Wire

However, it has been criticised by some scientists, who argue the priority now should be to get the jab to those countries which have received only scant quantities of the vaccine.

Earlier, Downing Street confirmed ministers had received the final advice on the issue from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI).

Health Secretary Sajid Javid will set out the details when he unveils the Government’s winter Covid plan for England in a Commons statement on Tuesday.

Boris Johnson has been scheduled to then lead a Downing Street news conference – although it is unclear whether he will still do so following the death on Monday of his mother, Charlotte Johnson Wahl.

(PA Graphics) / PA Graphics

The Prime Minister remains determined to avoid another lockdown, with Downing Street insisting it will only be considered as a “last resort”.

Instead, ministers will focus on vaccines as the “first line of defence” supported by testing, public health advice and a new variant surveillance system.

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