The UK has announced that people in the country who are above 40 years of age will be eligible to get COVID19 booster shots from next week. The announcement to extend to COVID19 booster program to people over 40 years has been made by medical regulators of the country at a press meet. Earlier, people who are above 50 years of age and have certain underlying medical issues have been eligible for the booster dose of COVID19 vaccines. Health experts from the UK have said that as per the new booster rollout strategy, people who are above 40 years of age will need to wait for six months after getting their second dose of the regular COVID19 shot before they take booster doses of COVID19 shot. As per the latest report, COVID19 shots developed by Pfizer- BioNTech and Moderna vaccines are being used in the UK’s booster rollout program at present. Medical Drug regulators from the UK have as well have declared that initially, adolescents who have been eligible only for a single dose of COVID19 shot in the country now will be administered the second dose of COVID19 shots as well. The UK has recorded nearly 36517 fresh cases of COVID19 over the last weekend. Experts have said that in the last seven days, new incidents of COVID19 in the country have shot up by 6 percent as compared to a week earlier. Although the number of cases has reduced from the figures that have been observed in the month of October, the rate of infection in the country remains the highest in the world. England’s deputy chief medical officer, Jonathan Van-Tam has said that the booster rollout program in the country is going at sizeable speed. He has said that the booster program has been able to achieve more than 90 percent immunity against symptomatic COVID19 disease.
The medical officials from Israel have said that they have started rolling out booster doses in the country in the month of July and now everyone in Israel who is above 12 years of age is eligible for booster doses. The data from Israel has shown that booster shots among people who are above 60 years of age have been able to reduce COVID19 cases by tenfold. With booster shots, there has been an 18.70-fold decline in hospital admissions linked to COVID19. There has been a 14.7-fold drop in deaths related to the disease due to the booster rollout plan. Jonathan Van-Tam has said that if the rollout of booster shots goes well with high uptake, it will reduce concerns about the expected rise in deaths and hospitalization due to COVID19 during the holiday season. He has said that the booster program will help the country to fight against the persisting fear of the COVID19 outbreak. Jonathan Van-Tam has said that many studies in the past have confirmed that immunity derived from the early two doses of COVID19 shots starts to wane away over time especially among elderly people and those who are dealing with certain underlying health issues. As per the reports, though the issue of waning immunity is not that huge, it has started to appear in people who are in the age range of 40 to 49 years. Jonathan Van-Tam has claimed without booster shots, the immunity derived from regular two-dose COVID19 shots will not be static in the long run and the issue of waning immunity will further shoot up.
The chief of the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) in the UK, June Raine has said during the press meet that COVID19 shots have been able to maintain a positive benefit-risk balance so far that is quite encouraging. She has said that since the booster rollout program has started in the country, experts have not found any safety concerns regarding the third dose of vaccines. One of the members of the U’s Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunization, Lim Wei Shen as well as claimed that the booster shot will strengthen people’ current levels of immunity against COVID19 and will be able to extend the duration of immunity against the severe form of the disease as well. He has urged people who are eligible for booster shots to step up and take booster doses to maximize their levels of protection against the disease. A study that has been done by Pfizer has revealed that protection derived from its COVID19 shot reached its peak amid a week and two months after the second jab. Later, it starts reducing by a median of 6 percent every two months. On the other hand, a study that has been published in the UK has shown that protection derived from AstraZeneca-Oxford COVID19 shot that has been proved to be 82 percent effective drops to 67 percent after four to five months of the second dose. Health experts have informed that many nations such as France, Germany, and Israel as well have started rolling out a certain form of vaccine booster doses across their populations. In the United States, The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted authorization to booster doses of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID19 shot for elderly people and those who are dealing with compromised immune systems. These people can get booster shots in the US six months after taking the second dose of vaccines. Pfizer has urged the US drug regulators to extend the booster program to all adults who are above 18 years of age.