Giving booster shots before the world is vaccinated won’t keep the UK safe from Covid
The Guardian asks should Britain approve booster doses for broad swathes of the population? The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) is deciding this week, and has already advised a third dose be offered to over-11s who had severe immunosuppression at the time of their first or second jab (including people with conditions such as leukaemia). Approving a mass booster programme would bring Britain in line with countries such as the United States and Israel that are already offering third doses to their vaccinated populations.
These plans are based on concerns that the protection offered by vaccines may wane over time. Indeed, data from a widely cited study in Israel has shown that the efficacy against severe disease of the Pfizer vaccine decreased from 91% in individuals aged 60 or over who were vaccinated four months prior to the study, to 86% in those vaccinated six months before the study. For 40- to 59-year-olds, the protection against severe disease dropped from 98% to 94%.
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