A new Omicron-specific booster jab will be used as part of Britain’s autumn Covid vaccine rollout, health chiefs confirmed today.
Some 26million older and vulnerable Britons are in line to potentially receive the new jab from next month to shore up their immunity ahead of a dire winter for the NHS.
The announcement came hours after the UK became the first country in the world to approve the new Moderna bivalent jab.
It is a half and half vaccine, made from the genetic material of the original Wuhan Covid strain and Omicron.
This differs from the current generation of jabs that are based solely on the first strain and are less effective against newer variants.
Trial results showed the new vaccine boosted antibody levels against Omicron eightfold. This should mean people who are vulnerable are even less likely to get seriously ill or die from the already-mild variant.
UK regulators said the jab was another ‘tool in the armoury’ against the ‘continually-evolving’ virus.
The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) tonight confirmed the new vaccine would be included in the autumn rollout.
However, the panel said other boosters will also be available for use and urged Britons to take-up any vaccine offered as they all still granted good protection.
Health bosses are bracing for one of the harshest winters on record for the NHS, with a triple-whammy of Covid, flu and the cost of living crisis expected to cause a sharp rise in excess admissions.
Read More: Moderna’s Omicron super-jab will be rolled out to 26million Brits over 50 starting from next MONTH