Holidaymakers may need three Covid vaccines to travel abroad next summer

Definition of ‘fully vaccinated’ likely to ‘evolve over time’, minister says

Emily Atkinson
Saturday 23 October 2021 21:12
<p>A record 234,000 booster vaccine bookings were made on Wednesday, says health minister. </p>

A record 234,000 booster vaccine bookings were made on Wednesday, says health minister.

Holidaymakers may need three doses of the Covid vaccine if they want to travel abroad next summer, a minister has said.

People who have had two doses are currently considered fully vaccinated, but this definition is likely to “evolve over time”, care minister Gillian Keegan said.

It means people may eventually only be deemed to be fully vaccinated if they have had their booster vaccine.

Asked if people would not be able to travel unless they have received their third dose, the minister told Sky News: “I don’t think so.

“The advice at the moment is the double jabbed vaccination but of course that will evolve over time as the third dose comes in.

“It’s two doses for now but I’m sure the vaccine passport concept will evolve and there will be ‘if you’ve had your booster etc’ because it’s not probably going to be good for next summer.”

Current rules state that those who have received two Covid vaccines are considered fully vaccinated and can avoid quarantine restrictions while travelling abroad.

The government has said there are currently no plans at present to change the parameters of being ‘fully vaccinated’.

It comes as the wait between a second dose of the vaccine and a booster could be cut from six months to five, under plans reportedly being considered to speed up the rollout.

Boris Johnson said the time period between jabs was an “extremely important point” and stressed the need to “keep going as fast as possible” to deliver boosters.

However, the i newspaper quoted an anonymous source at the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation as saying under 50s are unlikely to receive their shot until “well after Christmas”.

“We haven’t discussed it yet and I think it would probably be well after Christmas,” they said.

“When you think about how long ago most of these people had [their second jab], they’re still within the six-month range.

In a sign that demand may be picking up, health secretary Sajid Javid said a record 234,000 booster vaccine bookings were made on Wednesday.

“Getting your booster when offered is vital to keep you protected from Covid-19 over winter,” he said. “I urge everyone to book theirs as soon as eligible.”

A booster shot of the vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech has a dramatic effect, the firms claimed after a trial.

In the trial, a booster dose given to patients who had the initial two jabs showed relative vaccine efficacy of 95.6 per cent when compared to those who did not receive a booster.

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