health

Covid booster vaccine wait time could be slashed with ‘9 million Brits to get jab early’ as virus cases continue to rise


THE wait time for Covid booster vaccines could be slashed as ministers try to control the virus cases continuing to rise across the country.

It could see nearly 9 million more Brits become eligible for the third jab and get dosed up early, if the decision is made immediately.

It is hoped the plans could see millions of elderly Brits jabbed far quicker than expected

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It is hoped the plans could see millions of elderly Brits jabbed far quicker than expectedCredit: LNP
PM Boris Johnson has backed the proposal for a speedy rollout of the third Covid jab

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PM Boris Johnson has backed the proposal for a speedy rollout of the third Covid jabCredit: PA

The elderly could now get their jab in five months under the plans being discussed in Whitehall, as hospitals fear a hard winter.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) is also said to be keen on the fast-paced plans put forward by scientific advisers and ministers, the Telegraph reports.

The large majority of over-65s could be vaccinated by early November rather than December under the scheme, while over-70s could be inoculated now rather than by mid-November.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson seemingly backed the proposals on Thursday, saying it was an “extremely important point”.

He said the rollout of the booster jab should move “as fast as possible”.

Almost a quarter of a million people booked in for the top-up in just 24 hours on Wednesday, suggesting the country is also keen to get protected as quickly as possible.

No 10 is hoping next week’s school half-term will act as a mini-circuit breaker and bring down rising infection rates.

Daily Covid cases have continued to spike in the coming days – with over 50,000 recorded for the first time in three months on Thursday.

The dramatic flare-up of 52,009 cases has only amped up the pressure on the government to get the third jab administered as soon as.

Former health secretary Jeremy Hunt backed the master plan, suggesting it would be the best method to ensure Brits have maximum protection from the virus over the Christmas period.

Other Tory MPs also urged ministers to turbocharge the boosters rollout so freedoms are retained this winter.

The PM vowed to stick with his plan and reassured voters he was not about to trigger Plan B.

That would mean face masks, working from home and vaccine passports.

But it emerged that officials have been focusing on a secret Plan C to bring back even tougher measures, including social distancing and ­bubbles, if Plan B is tried and fails to halt a Covid spike.

Whitehall sources admitted ministers were not told of this blueprint.

Ministers have launched an advertising blitz to encourage people to book and the NHS has loosened appointment rules. But there are still more than a million people who are eligible for a booster and have not had it.

England’s 300,000 care home residents were at the front of the queue and should all get the top-up by November 1 — but only about 40 per cent have been reached so far.

Care home bosses say doctors are not bringing in vaccines or have been slow to arrange visits to the homes.

Scientists say that the rollout has suffered because the NHS is so busy.

Plan B could see the return of face masks, working from home, and vaccine passports

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Plan B could see the return of face masks, working from home, and vaccine passports





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