With more than 10 million people shielded from the coronavirus after having received both jabs here in the UK, Secretary of State for Health, Matt Hancock, has now confirmed that booster shots will be rolling out this coming autumn.
Thousands of lives saved thanks to vaccine
The total count for those who have received both vaccines against the virus is set at 10,152,039, meaning that about one if five adults in Britain have received full immunity and that those most at risk have nearly all been double vaccinated.
But with new variants popping up left and right—most recently the Indian mutation being cause for concern—experts are saying that a booster shot will be necessary in order to stay ahead of the virus. According to research, the introduction of the vaccine has accounted for saving over 10,000 lives. Coupled with the many months of lockdown, the UK has been able to remain afloat. Matt Hancock explained:
We've already procured enough vaccine doses to begin the booster shots later this year. We will be working with our current vaccine suppliers and new suppliers, like the CureVac partnership, to work out which vaccines will be effective as a booster shot and to design new vaccines specifically targeted at the variants of concern – like the variant first found in South Africa.
Roadmap out of lockdown still on track
But despite the presence of the new menacing Indian variant, plans to have all adults vaccinated by July, as well as having all restrictions lifted by June, are said to be on track. Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:
Vaccines offer us the best possible protection from the virus, so it is fantastic that 10 million people have now received their second dose. This is another remarkable milestone in our vaccination programme, which has already saved thousands of lives.
I want to thank the brilliant staff and volunteers involved in the rollout, and urge all those who are called to keep coming forward.