Booster jab bookings set to open a month earlier in rollout bid

Invitations will be sent out five months after someone’s second vaccine dose, rather than six months after

Holly Bancroft
Thursday 04 November 2021 07:56
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<p>Covid infections are at their highest ever recorded levels according to a study that has been tracking cases since last May </p>

Covid infections are at their highest ever recorded levels according to a study that has been tracking cases since last May

Booster jab invites will be sent out a month earlier in an effort to speed up the rollout, it has been reported.

Those eligible for the top up jab will receive their invite five months after their second dose instead of six, as is currently the norm.

The new measure will be put in place from next week according to sources speaking to The Sun.

A Whitehall source told the newspaper: “We want to get boosters into as many arms as possible this winter, which is why we’re going to allow people to book earlier.”

England’s deputy chief medical officer, Professor Jonathan Van Tam, warned on Wednesday that the pandemic was not over and said that the country could expect a “potentially problematic Christmas”.

He said that it was crucial for people to take up offers of booster and flu jabs.

He also acknowledged that infection rates were still very high and said: “It’s of concern for scientists that we are running this hot this early in the autumn season.”

Findings from the REACT-1 study, which has been tracking cases since May 2020, showed on Thursday that Covid infections are currently at their highest ever recorded levels.

Researchers warned that the next ten days would be “critical” as children return to the classroom.

The study found that the increase in cases was being driven by high rates among school-aged children, with 1 in 17 children infected between 19 October and 29 October.

Over 8m people have now received their booster vaccine. Around 79.5 per cent have received two doses of the vaccine and 86.9 per cent have received one dose, according to government data.

The roll out of booster jabs has slowed. After reaching more than 300,000 jabs a day last week, the seven-day rolling average is now at 278,053.

Vaccines administered over the past three days has fluctuated, with only 163,949 being given out on the 31 October.

However this has jumped up to 296,670 recorded on 2 November.

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