Covid vaccine boosters are reported to be released “within days”.
Government officials have been preparing to introduce a third vaccine against people at high risk of contracting the virus.
Health Minister Sajid Javid said he expected the Joint Vaccination and Immunization Committee to decide who, what and when people should receive the third vaccination.
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Last week the JCVI approved third doses, but only for around 500,000 people with compromised immune systems.
JCVI experts have spent months investigating how boosters should be introduced – including whether different brands of vaccine can be “mixed and matched” and whether the flu shot should be given at the same time, the Mirror reports.
Mr Javid told Sky News, “I am very confident that there will be a booster program, but as to who will actually get it and when, we are waiting for final advice which could certainly come from the JCVI in the next few days We need to see this advice. “
He added, “This work is almost complete and based on the schedule they have given us, I am confident that we can start the booster program this month.”
Mr Javid also suggested that the first doses for healthy children ages 12-15 could be approved within days by the UK’s four chief medical officers.
The JCVI passed the decision to the CMOs last week, saying that vaccination would have little health benefit for children compared to the extremely rare side effects of vaccination.
CMOs are generally expected to approve vaccinations for 12-15 year olds – which are given on school premises with parental consent – as they are allowed to consider the wider benefits to school and society.
Mr. Javid insisted that the CMOs need “breathing space” and only had four days, adding, “I don’t know” if anyone over the age of 12 is offered a stab.
He said, “I don’t want to put a timeline on it,” but added, “I would expect that [advice] of them in the next few days. “
NHS England had been directed to prepare for a booster rollout starting September 6, but the JCVI gave no advice until that date.
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