As at 15th November, a total of 96,660,514 doses of a coronavirus vaccine had been administered in the UK, with 50,614,550 people receiving a first dose (88% of the population aged 12 and over) and 46,045,964 people receiving both doses (80.1%). Of the 20 million people currently eligible for a booster jab, a total of 13,147,333 have received one so far.
Booster jabs are already available for those aged 50 and over along with people with underlying health conditions and frontline workers in the NHS and care homes. Against a backdrop of a new wave of Covid sweeping through central and western Europe, the Prime Minister announced at a press conference on Monday 15th November, that following the recommendation of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation, booster jabs for those aged 40 to 49 would be made available from six months after their second dose with bookings opening from next week. The PM stressed that over time the protection from two jabs starts to wane but a third jab boosts protection back up to over 90% against symptomatic infection and urged all people eligible to come forward “because it would be an utter tragedy if, after everything we have been through, people who had done the right thing by getting double vaccinated ended up becoming seriously ill or even losing their lives because they allowed their immunity to wane by not getting their booster”.
The PM added that requirements for foreign travel could well include the need for those eligible to have had a booster jab and that plans would be made for it to be added to the NHS Covid travel pass.
It was also announced that second jabs would now be made available to all 16 and 17 year olds from 12 weeks after their first dose – a government guidance note on this can be accessed here.