Booking for Covid boosters to open for all over 30s in UK amid Omicron threat
British health officials on Sunday said that people aged 30 and above will be able to book appointments for vaccine booster shots against coronavirus disease (Covid-19) from Monday, December 13 amid concerns over the Omicron variant. The NHS said in a statement that the national booking system for Covid vaccines will now be open to people aged 30 to 39 so they can get the booster shot three months after receiving the second dose.
The booking can be made two months following their second dose, which means a month in advance of becoming eligible to receive the additional jab. Of 7.5 million people in Britain aged 30 to 29, about 3.5 million people will be eligible for a booster shot from tomorrow. The vaccine policy was revised following updated advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation.
“The Covid-19 booster programme is accelerating rapidly and more than 22 million people in the UK have already received their top-up, securing vital protection ahead of Christmas,” UK health secretary Sajid Javid said.
The vaccine program of the National Health Service (NHS) was expanded after the UK health security agency (UKHSA) found that the additional dose of the Covid vaccine significantly restores protection against mild disease caused by the new variant of concern. The emergence of Omicron has left researchers scrambling for more data to determine the transmissibility of the new variant of concern and the severity of disease caused by it.
Cautioning against the preliminary findings on protection against Omicron, Dr Mary Ramsay, head of immunisation at the UKHSA, said the early estimates do indicate that there is a greater risk of contracting the Omicron variant as against the Delhi variant a few months after taking the second dose of the Covid vaccine.
“The data suggest this risk is significantly reduced following a booster vaccine, so I urge everyone to take up their booster when eligible,” Ramsay added.
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