COVID: Annual booster shot could be introduced in the UK

The government is planning to roll out an annual vaccination programme to combat the dangerous consequences of waning immunity.

COVID Vaccination in the UK
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COVID Vaccination in the UK

Various studies have indicated the vaccine’s ability to protect our immune system against the damaging effects of the virus does decrease over time. This could explain why infection, death, andhospitalisation rates skyrocketed in the UK, despite the fact that a majority of adults are fully vaccinated.

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Deaths amongst the elderly

Moreover, there have been an increasing number of deaths and severe infections within double-jabbed immunocompromised and elderly adults—some of the first to get vaccinated earlier in the year.

In order to keep antibody levels consistently high, experts believe that booster vaccinations are imperative for vulnerable populations. Dr. Susan Hopkins of the UK Health Security Agency, said on BBC’s Andrew Merr Show:

The people who are dying are the same people who have died all the way through.
It is particularly the older age groups, so the over-70s in particular, but also those who are clinically vulnerable, extremely vulnerable, and have underlying medical conditions.
We know immunity begins to wane after six months, especially for the elderly and the vulnerable, and booster vaccines will top-up their protection to keep people safe over the winter.

Currently, more than 10 million people over the age of 50 have already received their booster jab, but the government is pushing more individuals to follow suit. They’re also devising a plan in which the vulnerable may get jabbed on a yearly basis.

Annual COVID jabs

Nadhim Zahawi, Education Secretary and former vaccines minister, told The Sun that an annual vaccination programme is currently in the works. He said:

Ultimately our plan, we will, I hope be the first major economy to transition from pandemic to endemic and have an annual vaccination programme.

The possibility was also confirmed by Dr. Mike Tildesley of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE). He told Sky News:

It’s possible that every year… we’re having to go out and get our Covid jabs in the same way a lot of people are currently getting their flu jabs.

Whether or not health adults under the age of 50 will require a booster shot every year is still unclear, but Hopkins did mention that:

If you're a healthy 30-year-old, then two doses will protect you for a longer period.
COVID-19 booster and annual vaccine in the cards for the UK COVID-19 booster and annual vaccine in the cards for the UK