Europe

Will there be a fourth booster vaccine and when will you get it? Expert explains

Covid booster ’enough to stop serious infection’ says expert

We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info

The Omicron coronavirus variant, which is heavily mutated, sent shockwaves around the globe as countries feared being plunged back into the depths of the pandemic. But as a clearer picture of the new variant emerges, it’s becoming increasingly clear that three doses of the vaccine can hugely reduce your risk of being hospitalised with the disease.

So will there be a fourth?

At this stage, it’s too early to predict the future vaccine requirements. However, some experts are predicting we might need regular boosters, just like with the flu, to stay on top of the virus.

Scientists suggest that the jab’s efficacy decreases after about four to six months. Meaning that those who had their booster at the start of the rollout, which began in September, could be running out of protection early on in the new year.

Many are already speculating on the possibility of a fourth jab, or a top up booster, but exactly when that might happen is unclear, as scientists need to work out the timing from the first booster to the next.

Professor Wei Shen Lim, Chair of COVID-19 immunisation at the JCVI told a meeting of the Science and Technology Committee on Tuesday: “If you had your booster it will take about a week to get the full benefit of the booster dose but it’s too soon now to advise when the next booster can be given.”

But the CEO of Pfizer, Albert Bourla, said last week that a fourth dose might be expected fairly soon.

Pfizer and BioNTech released results from an initial lab study that showed a third shot is highly effective at fighting the Omicron variant, while the initial two-dose vaccination series dropped significantly in its ability to protect against the new strain.

However, the two-dose series likely still offers protection against getting severely sick from Omicron, the companies said.

Mr Bourla noted that a preliminary study by the company was based on a synthetic, lab-created copy of the variant and more data is needed from tests against the real virus.

He told CNN: “When we see real-world data, will determine if the Omicron is well covered by the third dose and for how long. And the second point, I think we will need a fourth dose.”

The Pfizer CEO said what’s most important right now is to roll out third doses for the winter. In the UK, more than half a million people booked their booster jabs on Monday alone as the Government seeks to offer everyone over 18 a booster by the end of the year.

Long queues formed at walk-in vaccination sites on Monday, with some people waiting five hours to get jabs.

DON’T MISS: 
Covid: Thousands wait five hours in queues for booster jabs [INSIGHT]
Adil Ray slapped down by Raab as GMB row explodes [VIDEO]
Covid latest: Second ‘call to arms’ for vaccine volunteers [REPORT]

The PM and the NHS are now appealing for volunteers to help get jabs into arms and run vaccination centres.

No 10 said hundreds more sites, mobile units and pop-ups would be set up across the country including at football stadiums, shopping centres and racecourses in the next week, as the UK bids to slow the spread of the Omicron variant.

However, some sources have said the target is too ambitious and delivery might take longer. Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab told BBC Breakfast he accepted there had been “teething problems” in the bid to offer a jab to all adults before the new year, but he hoped they would diminish over the course of the week.

He said: “It does take a few days just to make sure we get to a steady state. We’ll keep straining every sinew to make sure we can reach that target.”

See the latest Covid vaccine stats below and visit InYourArea for all the Covid vaccine latest

Source: Read Full Article