Boris booster drive could see over-70s jabbed in September to tackle Covid strains

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The new jabs will provide better protection against Covid variants that have emerged over the last few months. These include the B117 British mutation and the South African P1 variant, both of which have shown resistance to the current batch of vaccines. A new study released on Friday by the Government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) indicated that present Covid jabs, including Pfizer and Moderna, could be up to 10 times less effective against the new strains.

Nadhim Zahawi, the Vaccines Minister, told the Daily Telegraph the first booster doses will go to the most vulnerable groups.

Those groups include over 70s, as well as frontline NHS staff and social care workers.

The minister also said that Covid jab supplies should be boosted as more vaccines become available.

New vaccines being considered by regulators include Novavax and the Janssen single shot jab.

The Government expects a total of eight vaccines to be available by the autumn.

Asked when boosters would start to be administered, Mr Zahawi told the Daily Telegraph: “The most likely date will be September.

“Jonathan Van-Tam [the deputy chief medical officer] thinks that if we are going to see a requirement for a booster jab to protect the most vulnerable, [it] would be around September.”

The Vaccines Minister was particularly encouraged by the Novavax vaccine that can cover multiple different strains.

He explained: “The Novavax technology allows us to have a bi-variant or tri-variant vaccine in the way you do with flu.

“So inside the actual vaccine itself, it can have more than one variant.”

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Mr Zahawi stressed that Novavax would be available for the autumn booster campaign.

The Government has succeeded in offering one Covid jab to 29 million people – more than half the UK adult population.

The aim is to offer all adults a first jab by the end of July.

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