Covid booster vaccines will be offered to 32million Britons from next month, it was claimed today.
Over 50s and immunosuppressed people, along with NHS and care home staff will be offered third doses from as soon as September 6.
The vaccines will be administered at up to 2,000 pharmacies, with the goal of 2.5m per week. And they will be dished out at the same time as flu jabs, ministers hope.
The Telegraph reports No10 is aiming to get the most vulnerable groups jabbed by mid-December, so the vaccine has at least fortnight to kick in before Christmas. All eligible adults are expected to get a dose of Pfizer, regardless of which vaccine they received for their first two injections.
Latest data from Public Health England suggests the Pfizer injection is slightly more effective against the Indian ‘Delta’ stain, which could encourage the Government to adopt the mix-and-match strategy.
But Department of Health bosses have yet to confirm any official details of the UK’s booster scheme, with ministers waiting on final advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI).
The JCVI set out interim advice on the booster programme in June, advising that, if needed, the booster programme should begin in September.
Third jabs should first be offered to over-70s, over-16s who are immunosuppressed or extremely vulnerable, those living in care homes and frontline health and social care workers, they said.
In a second stage, the boosters should be given to remaining over-50s, over-16s who are at risk from the flu or Covid and those living with immunosuppressed individuals, the JCVI recommended.