Boris Johnson will make plans for Covid booster jabs as the UK government reveals its blueprint for living with the virus this winter.
The Prime Minister will provide details at a press conference on Downing Street on Tuesday (September 14) after Health Secretary Sajid Javid issued a Commons statement.
Downing Street confirmed that Ministers had received the final recommendation on the matter from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunization (JCVI).
The BBC reported that those over 50 would be offered Pfizer / BioNTech vaccination at least six months after receiving the second dose of the vaccine.
Ministers believe this will help ensure that the NHS is not overwhelmed by new cases of the disease during the winter.
However, it has been criticized by some scientists who argue that the priority now should be to get vaccination to those countries that have only received small amounts of the vaccine.
Prior to the announcement, Mr Johnson said, “The pandemic is far from over, but thanks to our phenomenal vaccine program, new treatments and tests, we can live with the virus without significantly restricting our freedoms.
“I will have a clear plan for fall and winter when the virus has a natural benefit to protect the profits we make.”
Mr Johnson remains determined to avoid another lockdown in England over the winter, with Downing Street making it clear that this is viewed as a “last resort” only.
Instead, it is believed ministers will retain the ability to revert to wearing face masks in public places and restore advice on working from home when cases resume.
They have already put plans on hold that require vaccination certificates for people visiting nightclubs or other crowded venues.
The government is expected to announce that it is lifting some of the powers assumed by the Coronavirus Act that are no longer deemed necessary.
These include measures to shut down economic sectors, restrictions on events and gatherings, and powers to detain infectious people.
Some measures will be maintained – including day one sick pay for those self-isolating, full powers to instruct schools to stay open if they close against government orders, and helping the NHS raise the emergency resources they need.
It will remain a legal obligation for people to self-isolate if they test positive for the disease.
The move comes after the government announced on Monday that the Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine would be offered to 12-15 year olds in England.
It follows the advice of the chief medical officers of the UK’s four decentralized nations after the JCVI previously advised against the medical benefits being marginal.
In their advice, however, the medical professionals stressed the impact of missing school due to Covid on children’s education and psychological well-being.
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