The introduction of a fourth Covid stitch is under review as Health Secretary Sajid Javid gave an update as cases across the UK show signs of increasing
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Health Secretary Sajid Javid has said the introduction of a fourth dose of Covid vaccine is being “reviewed” amid rising cases in the UK.
Javid said ministers would continue to follow advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunization (JCVI) after figures showed a rise in infection rates in all four home countries.
He was speaking during a visit to Birmingham Children’s Hospital today when asked if he intended to bring forward a fourth booster shot.
He said: “When it comes to vaccinations and future vaccinations, we listen carefully to what our expert advisors have to say at the JCVI.
“They said recently… that certainly for groups of people who are over 75, those who are immunocompromised, those in care homes, they will be given a second booster shot… a fourth dose and that will start in the coming weeks.”
“We are preparing for this and this is recommended for those who have had at least a six month gap between this dose and their previous one.”
When pressed further, he added: “We’re keeping an eye on it, but the right thing to do is to listen to the advice of the experts… I’m very confident in our approach.”
In February last month, Mr Javid said the most vulnerable and vulnerable groups would receive a fourth dose in the coming weeks.
This should help ensure they maintain a sufficiently high level of protection against the deadly virus.
Those who are eligible will be offered the vaccine about six months after their last dose.
The latest figures have shown that all four home countries saw a week-on-week increase in infections for the first time since late January.
Figures released by the ONS infection survey show an estimated 2.6million people contracted coronavirus across the UK last week.
That number was 4.3 million at the start of the year, but that’s up from 2.4 million.
Mr Javid said the Government would “continue to monitor the situation very carefully” in response to a surge in Covid-19 infections among the elderly and in children’s hospitals.
“Obviously we’re monitoring the situation regularly, we’re keeping an eye on it, but things are very stable at this point as we learn to live with Covid,” he said.
“It underscores the importance of the defense that we have built up. It is very important to get vaccinated, especially if you have not been vaccinated before.
“While it’s great to see that when it comes to booster shots, eight out of 10 adults have had their booster shots, the two out of 10 who haven’t come forward – it’s still a very good time to come forward.”