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UK vaccine panel says no immediate need for second boosters for elderly


The UK’s vaccine advisory panel on Friday stated there was “no rapid want” for a second booster shot for aged susceptible teams, citing new proof that vaccine safety in opposition to extreme illness from the Omicron coronavirus variant is sustained for at the least three months.

Early information from the UK Well being Safety Company, launched on Friday, confirmed that whereas vaccine effectiveness in opposition to symptomatic an infection from Omicron falls from about 70 per cent for the over-65s two to 4 weeks after the shot is run to simply 30 per cent three months on, efficacy in opposition to extreme illness holds regular at roughly 90 per cent.

“The present information present the booster dose is continuous to offer excessive ranges of safety in opposition to extreme illness, even for probably the most susceptible older age teams,” stated Prof Wei Shen Lim, Covid-19 chair on the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation. “Because of this the committee has concluded there isn’t any rapid must introduce a second booster dose, although it will proceed to be reviewed.”

This week, Israel turned the primary nation to supply a fourth dose of the BioNTech/Pfizer vaccine to a large swath of the inhabitants, rolling the jab out to the over-60s, medical staff and folks with weakened immune methods amid spiking case numbers resulting from Omicron.

A research on 150 Israeli healthcare staff discovered a fivefold bounce in antibody ranges after a fourth jab.

Some 500,000 immunocompromised folks within the UK have been eligible for a fourth dose three months after their third jab since late November.

The European Medicines Company signalled late final yr that it was reviewing whether or not fourth doses have been wanted for a subset of at-risk populations, equivalent to those that are immunocompromised.

The UK has almost 150m further vaccines beneath order from Pfizer and Moderna, the present linchpins of its booster rollout, that are set to reach all through 2022 and 2023.

Greater than 35m third doses have been administered throughout the UK because the booster drive started in September however, regardless of excessive vaccination protection, Omicron has pushed an infection charges to file highs, with one in 15 folks in England being contaminated with Covid-19 within the week ending December 31, based on the Workplace for Nationwide Statistics.

This week, Prof Andrew Pollard, director of the Oxford Vaccine Group that created the Oxford/AstraZeneca jab, solid doubt on the necessity for boosters in the long run.

“It’s really not reasonably priced, sustainable or most likely even wanted to vaccinate everybody on the planet each 4 to 6 months,” stated Pollard, chatting with the BBC’s Immediately programme.

“We haven’t even managed to vaccinate everybody in Africa with one dose so we’re definitely not going to get to a degree the place fourth doses for everybody is manageable.”

“We could effectively must have boosters for the susceptible within the inhabitants, however I believe it’s extremely unlikely that we’ll have programmes going forwards commonly of boosting everybody over the age of 12,” he added.

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