Annual Covid booster jab likely, says vaccines minister
"Probably a booster in the autumn and then an annual [jab], in the way we do with flu vaccinations"
Vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi says he expects there to be annual Covid-19 booster jab, similar to the yearly flu vaccination.
Speaking on the BBC’s The Andrew Marr Show, Zahawi said he had discussed with deputy chief medical officer Jonathan Van-Tam the possibility of yearly Covid jabs being required to fight the variants of the virus.
"I was speaking to Jonathan Van-Tam this morning," said Zahawi. "We see very much… probably a booster in the autumn and then an annual [jab], in the way we do with flu vaccinations where you look at what variant of virus is spreading around the world, rapidly produce a variant of vaccine and then begin to vaccinate and protect the nation."
Over 12 million people in the UK have now received the first dose of a Covid-19, after 550,000 jabs were administered on Saturday.
The government target is to have 15 million people receive a vaccination by the middle of February. At the current rate, 16 million will have been vaccinated by February 15th.
Zahawi told The Andrew Marr Show that Boris Johnson's intention was to get the approved vaccines out to the most vulnerable groups as quickly as possible.
"That’s the immediate task," the vaccines minister told the show. "At the same time, it’s also plan for the future, which is why we’ve talked to all the manufacturers."