UK Plans Third COVID Jab Against Mutant Strains

UK Plans Third COVID Jab Against Mutant Strains

Great Britain seeks to counter COVID mutation strains with a third vaccination jab – a strategy only made possible via the success the country has had with its current vaccination campaign.

To protect against new variants of the coronavirus, individuals in the UK are said to receive a third jab of the COVID vaccine. Over 70-year-olds could get the jab as early as September, said Under-Secretary of State Nadhim Zahawi. Medical staff and nurses should then also receive their third jab within ten months. By autumn, eight different vaccines would probably be available for this, said Zahawi. “Whatever the virus, we’ll be ready.”

The Zahawi also announced that drive-through vaccination centres would soon open, which aims to reduce the vaccination scepticism of younger people as soon as they are eligible, said Zahawi.

The UK government has announced that all adults should receive a first dose of the coronavirus vaccine by the end of July. However, it has not made any specific announcements about the time after that. So far, around 30 million people have had their first jab, more than half of the adults in Great Britain. About five per cent also received a second jab. However, because of the spread of more contagious variants, there is pressure on the government not to jeopardize the previous vaccination success.

As a result, the government is currently discussing an expansion of its red list of high-risk countries. It is feared that virus variants from abroad could weaken the British vaccination program, which has so far been successful. Anyone entering from these areas must be in hotel quarantine for ten days at their own expense.

Meanwhile, the UK is on the verge of signing a vaccine deal with the European Union (EU). The deal could eliminate the risk of EU deliveries being halted. Under the agreement, the EU would relinquish its threat to ban the export of BioNTech / Pfizer vaccines to the UK. In return, the British government is ready to forego some long-term orders for the AstraZeneca vaccine, which should be exported from the Netherlands.

Photo by Marco Verch/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

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