Third dose of vaccine extended to people over 40 in the UK

The UK chooses, like France, to rely on the vaccine booster to strengthen the protection of the population and avoid the reintroduction of restrictions this winter. Those over 40 will soon be able to receive a third dose of the Covid-19 vaccine.

So far, around 12.6 million people in the UK have received a third Covid-19 injection, including those over 50, front-line caregivers, and people with health problems that make them vulnerable to the virus. of the illness.

Campaign extended to more than 40 years

Experts from the JCVI, a committee that advises the government on its vaccination campaign, recommended this Monday to extend this withdrawal campaign to people over 40 years of age and to use the Pfizer / BioNtech vaccine as a priority for injections, or otherwise, half a dose of Moderna .

The injection must take place at least six months after the administration of the second dose, an interval that is considered the most relevant in terms of the efficacy of the vaccine.

The JCVI also recommended that teens ages 16 and 17, who were initially offered a single shot of the Covid-19 vaccine, be able to receive a second dose of the Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine at least 12 weeks after the first.

As soon as these recommendations were made, Health Minister Sajid Javid announced the extension of the withdrawal campaign, noting that the four nations of the United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland) “intend to follow JCVI’s advice. ‘

Sajid Javid announced that he had asked the public health service, the NHS, “to prepare to offer a vaccine to eligible people as soon as possible.”

Keep hospitals from being overwhelmed

These announcements come as the government renews its calls on the population to receive booster vaccines to avoid a chaotic winter with hospitals overwhelmed with patients with Covid-19 and other seasonal viruses such as influenza.

“At Christmas and during the winter period, we can expect the presence of respiratory viruses and we are particularly concerned that the flu will return and make our problems worse,” Jonathan Van-Tam, England’s deputy chief medical officer, told a news conference on Monday. “It could be quite hectic in the coming months,” he warned.

“We know that immunity to Covid-19 begins 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 underscores the importance of all eligible individuals receiving their booster injections as soon as possible, ”stressed the Minister of Health.

He said the JCVI would continue to examine whether the third dose of the Covid-19 vaccine should be extended to people under the age of 40. The UK is one of the countries most afflicted by the coronavirus pandemic with almost 143,000 deaths.

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