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Boris Johnson has revealed at the Conservative spring conference that a fourth Covid-19 vaccination is on the horizon for Brits.
“We’re getting ready for a fourth jab, because we’re going to need it," he said.
Although the British Prime Minister didn’t give an exact date for the new vaccine rollout, Health Secretary Sajid Javid said it would happen in autumn.
Javid also stated he was awaiting advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) regarding the fourth booster's rollout.
While speaking with ITV's Peston programme he said: “When it comes to vaccinations I think we rightly take the advice of our clinicians.
"There’s a committee, it’s called the JCVI and we listen very carefully to what they’ve got to say.”
He continued: “They look at the data very, very carefully and their latest advice as you say is that there should be a second boost – or let’s call it a fourth dose – but to focus on those over 75, those in care homes, those who are immunosuppressed.
“Now we will start that by the end of this month, that’s what we’ve said and we’re completely on track for that. But we listen to their advice all the time, should they come forward.”
The news comes after the UK government gave clearance for a fourth dose of the vaccination for those aged 75 and over and people immunosuppressed last month.
But following Johnson's announcement over the weekend, the Covid-19 vaccination is expected to be available to more people before the end of this year.
“The British population came forward to be vaccinated at such incredible speed voluntarily, unlike many other countries,” he said.
“I’m sure it was partly because they wanted to avoid catching Covid – a very sensible thing to do, by the way."
Although many experts agree that a fourth booster shot would be highly beneficial to the elderly and vulnerable people, some have questioned if another vaccine should be extended to everyone.
In January, Senior Clinical Lecturer and Honorary Consultant Nephrologist at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust Dr Michelle Willicombe told the British Medical Journal that data suggesting whether a fourth vaccination would be effective is still lacking.
“If you give someone a boost, and they’ve got a normal immune system, they’re going to get a boost in response,” she said.
“The question is, is it needed? I don’t know the answer to that … the clinical efficacy data, not just infection rates but hospital admissions, deaths, etc, would guide that.”
Featured Image Credit: Charlie J Ercilla/Jamie Lorriman/Alamy Stock Photo
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