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Covid: All UK adults to be offered booster jab

来源:BBC 作者: 时间:2021-11-30 Tag: 点击:


Covid booster jabs are to be offered to all over-18s in the UK to help stop a potential wave of infections driven by the new variant Omicron.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation made a series of recommendations to expand the booster rollout.

It said the minimum gap between the second vaccine dose and booster should be reduced from six to three months.

The experts also said children aged 12-15 should be invited for a second jab.

Early evidence suggests Omicron has a higher re-infection risk, but scientists say it will take about three weeks before it is known how the variant impacts on the effectiveness of vaccines.

The government has announced new rules on self-isolation and that face masks will be compulsory in shops and on public transport in England from 04:00 GMT on Tuesday in an effort to contain the spread of the variant. Eleven cases of Omicron have now been detected in the UK.

England's deputy chief medical officer Prof Jonathan Van-Tam told a Downing Street briefing that Omicron was the "new kid on the block" and it has "always been the case that, at some point, we are going to get a variant that gives us heightened concern".

He said: "If vaccine effectiveness is reduced - as seems pretty likely, to some extent - the biggest effects are likely to be in preventing infections and, hopefully, there will be smaller effects in preventing severe disease.

"Vaccine boosting is the thing we can do most easily while we wait for that science mist to clear."

Prof Wei Shen Lim, chair of the JCVI, said he was not predicting the new variant would take hold in the UK but the experts wanted to be in the best possible position if there was an increase in infection.

He said: "With any vaccine during a pandemic, we get the greatest benefit for individuals and society if the vaccine is deployed before the wave starts. We want to provide boosters early enough.... before any possible wave".

Director general of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom, said the emergence of Omicron "underlines just how perilous and precarious our situation is".

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