Phil Schofield ponders sending UK vaccine supplies to India
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Millions of people have received their Covid vaccinations in the UK to date. Almost 34 million people have received their first vaccine dose as of April 27, while more than 13 million people have also received their second dose. In a Downing Street press briefing on Wednesday, Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced Covid booster vaccines will also be available in the future.
Speaking at the Downing Street press briefing, Matt Hancock said: “To keep us safe and free here, while we get this disease under control across the whole world, we have been working on a programme of booster shots for over a year now.
“And we’ve backed some of the only clinical trials in the world looking specifically at booster shots.
“I’m delighted to be able to tell you that we’ve secured a further 60 million doses of Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine that will be used alongside others as part of our booster shot programme later this year.”
The Department for Health and Social Care said the booster programme will be based on clinical need to ensure people have the strongest possible protection against COVID-19.
When will vaccine boosters be issued?
An extra 60 million doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech coronavirus jab will be available in the autumn.
The extra vaccines means the UK has now secured 100 million doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, with 40 million already secured and being rolled out in the UK.
Public Health England said on Wednesday the details of any booster vaccine programme are still being worked out.
However, it is thought the booster vaccine would be likely to target new variants of COVID-19.
Mr Hancock said of the vaccine booster programme: “Our vaccination programme is bringing back our freedom, but the biggest risk to that progress is the risk posed by a new variant.
“We’re working on our plans for booster shots, which are the best way to keep us safe and free while we get this disease under control across the whole world.
“These further 60 million doses will be used, alongside others, as part of our booster programme from later this year, so we can protect the progress that we’ve all made.”
More details of the booster programme are expected to be published in due course.
Who can get the Covid vaccine now?
While the vaccine booster programme remains a few months off, the initial vaccine rollout programme continues in the UK.
The Covid vaccine is being offered to everyone in the top priority groups, including people considered clinically vulnerable and extremely clinically vulnerable.
The vaccine is also being offered to people over the age of 42 in England.
People who live with someone who is immunosuppressed are also eligible to get a vaccine at the current time.
The Government is aiming to offer all adults a Covid vaccine dose by the end of July.
The full list of people currently eligible for the Covid vaccine is as follows:
- people aged 42 and over
- people who will turn 42 before 1 July 2021
- people at high risk from COVID-19 (clinically extremely vulnerable)
- people who live or work in care homes
- health and social care workers
- people with a condition that puts them at higher risk (clinically vulnerable)
- people with a learning disability
- people who are a main carer for someone at high risk from COVID-19
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