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Britain extends Covid-19 booster jab to people over 40

The JCVI also advised that all 16- to 17-year-olds who are not in an at-risk group should be offered a second dose of the Pfizer vaccine 12 weeks or more following the first vaccine dose…reports Asian Lite News.

The UK’s Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunization (JCVI) on Monday announced that people over 40 years old living in the United Kingdom will now be eligible to receive a booster COVID-19 vaccine six months after having their second dose, as a new study showed that boosters give over 90% protection in adults over 50.

“JCVI has previously advised booster vaccination for all adults aged 50 years and over and those in a COVID-19 at-risk group. The offer has now been broadened to include those aged 40 to 49 years,” the committee said in a statement.

The booster vaccines to be offered to this new age group are Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, the same mRNA-type vaccine that is being used since September in people over 50 and at higher risk from the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. So far, more than 12,6 million people in the UK have had the third dose.

According to a study released on Monday by the UK Health Security Agency, two weeks after receiving a booster dose, protection against symptomatic infection in adults aged 50 years and over was 93.1% in those who first had AstraZeneca as their primary vaccine and 94.0% for Pfizer-BioNTech.

The JCVI also advised that all 16- to 17-year-olds who are not in an at-risk group should be offered a second dose of the Pfizer vaccine 12 weeks or more following the first vaccine dose.

UK records another 39,705 new cases

The UK has registered 39,705 new Covid-19 infections, bringing the total number of coronavirus cases in the country to 9,600,369, according to the latest official figures released.

The country on Monday also reported a further 47 coronavirus-related deaths, Xinhua news agency reported.

The total number of coronavirus-related deaths in the UK now stands at 142,945. These death toll only includes people who died within 28 days of their first positive test.

There are currently 8,678 patients in hospital with Covid-19.

The latest data came as the UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson claimed there’s still nothing in the coronavirus data to suggest further restrictions were needed despite a “storm of infection” in Europe and the risk that “a blizzard could come from the east again.”

Speaking on a visit to a medical centre in east London, he said: “The best protection for our country is for everybody to go forward and get that booster.”

However, England’s deputy chief medical officer, Jonathan Van-Tam, said the modelling is “getting more difficult to give us any clear sense of whether things will turn up or down.”

“We’re in for potentially some difficult months over the winter,” he told reporters.

Around 88 percent of people aged 12 and over in Britain have had their first dose of vaccine and around 80 per cent have received both doses, the latest figures indicate. More than 22 per cent have received booster jabs, or the third dose of a coronavirus vaccine.

To bring life back to normal, countries such as Britain, China, Germany, Russia and the United States have been racing against time to roll out coronavirus vaccines.

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