Nadhim Zahawi on why the AstraZeneca isn't used for boosters
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Europe is in the grips of a terrifying surge in Covid infections, with the World Health Organization warning the continent could hit two million deaths by March next year. The latest rise in cases in the UK has slowed in recent days, with many nations around Europe surpassing Britain’s average infection rate and hitting record highs for new daily confirmed cases. Booster jabs are being hailed as more essential than ever in face of the European surge in infections, but when exactly might you receive your third Covid vaccine?
The UK’s booster Covid vaccination programme began in September. Since then, 15.3 million have received third doses of the life-saving shot.
This represents 26.7 percent of the population aged 12 and above.
Recent analysis, however, has shown the rollout of booster jabs is not moving fast enough to protect the most vulnerable Britons.
Over the course of the entire rollout of the booster vaccination campaign so far, an average of 278,102 doses have been issued each day, which equates to 1.9 million doses per week.
The average daily booster jabs over the past seven days are 352,937.
Taking this figure and using Office for National Statistics population estimate data, the Government has currently vaccinated up to the aged 65 and over age group.
The current rate of vaccination would see this group fully vaccinated by Thursday, November 25.
When the booster programme first launched, only those aged 50 and above, healthcare and social care workers and anyone clinically extremely vulnerable, were able to get the jab.
This group in total includes an estimated 31.9 million people.
According to data compiled by Express.co.uk, the booster vaccine programme will finish providing third shots to all of these groups on January 7 – however, this assumes vaccine jabs will be given out every day, including Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.
If vaccines are not delivered on these days – or vaccine uptake significantly dips on these days as would likely be the case – these groups would likely not finish receiving these doses until January 9.
All those aged 40 and above are now entitled to get the jab.
Those in this age bracket will finish receiving the jab by January 31, according to Express.co.uk analysis.
Health Secretary Sajid Javid indicated Covid booster jabs could soon be available to all adults.
Mr Javid said he is awaiting advice on third jabs for younger adults from the independent Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI).
He told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show: “If it makes sense to go further, we will. The latest data shows that the boosters are immensely effective.”
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If the Government were to forge ahead with plans to vaccinate younger adults, those aged 30 to 39 would be fully vaccinated with third doses by February 21, 2022.
Those aged 18 to 29 would then be invited to get their jabs.
This group is predicted to be fully vaccinated by March 18, according to analysis.
Once those aged 18 and over have received their third doses, 82.5 percent of the UK population are expected to have received booster shots.
Rising rates of infection across Europe have prompted some health leaders to call for the booster jab programme to be extended to all adults.
The booster doses have been subject to delays due to confusion surrounding the eligibility and timings of shots.
Individuals looking to get their Covid third jabs must wait until six months since their second jabs to receive a third dose.
Almost three-quarters of the English over-50s population is currently eligible for a third jab, as their doses were at least six months ago.
This equates to 52 percent of the total population of this age group, including 90 percent of those age 75 and above and Britain’s most vulnerable population.
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