UK to give third COVID dose for over-50s before winter

third COVID dose, pfizer ceo
© Mariusz Burcz

The UK Government will begin rollout of a third COVID dose for over-50s and vulnerable individuals, with the NHS given the go-ahead to create their pre-winter vaccination plan

As of today (1 July) 32.8 million people in the UK have taken a full dose of COVID vaccine. Intellectual property laws remain intact across the Global South, making it implausible for many countries to access the COVID vaccine. Some places with far larger populations than the UK, remain at risk of mutating more variants and experiencing a chilling third or fourth virus wave.

Back in April, leaders at Pfizer explained that ongoing boosters would be necessary for whole populations. 

Speaking to CNBC, Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said: “A likely scenario is that there will be likely a need for a third dose, somewhere between six and 12 months and then from there, there will be an annual revaccination, but all of that needs to be confirmed. And again, the variants will play a key role.”

The NHS has been given the go-ahead to begin prepping for a third dose rollout, with a list of priority groups that closely mirrors the initial one used for first doses.

Professor Jonathan Van-Tam, deputy chief medical officer for England, commented: “We want to be on the front foot for Covid-19 booster vaccination to keep the probability of loss of vaccine protection, due to waning immunity or variants, as low as possible, especially over the coming autumn and winter.”

The first priority group:

  • adults aged 16 and over who are immunosuppressed or clinically extremely vulnerable
  • residents in care homes for older adults
  • all adults aged 70 and over
  • frontline health and social care workers

The second priority group:

  • all adults aged 50 and over
  • adults aged 16-49 who are in a flu or Covid-19 at-risk group
  • those living in the same house as people who are immunosuppressed


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