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‘Slow’ booster rollout ‘must be accelerated’ as only third in care homes jabbed

Professor Neil Ferguson, leading member of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) has said there is a need to speed up boosters and the vaccination of teenagers, who he suggested should be given two doses of a jab to block infection and transmission

It comes as only 1 in three of those in a care home have had a booster jab and only 14.1% of staff have had their third jab

The ‘slow’ booster rollout ‘must be accelerated’ as figures show only a third of those in care homes have been jabbed.

Professor Neil Ferguson, leading member of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) has said there is a need to speed up boosters and the vaccination of teenagers, who he suggested should be given two doses of a jab to block infection and transmission.

It is “critical” that the Covid booster programme is accelerated, a leading member of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) has said.

Professor Neil Ferguson, leading member of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) has said there is a need to speed up boosters and the vaccination of teenagers, who he suggested should be given two doses of a jab to block infection and transmission.



Covid-19 cases in the UK are at their highest level for almost three months, with the seven-day average standing at 44,145 cases per day
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Image:

AFP via Getty Images)




It comes as only 1 in three of those in a care home have had a booster jab and only 14.1% of staff have had their third jab, reports the Daily Telegraph.

Covid-19 cases in the UK are at their highest level for almost three months, with the seven-day average standing at 44,145 cases per day.

Hospital admissions and deaths are also slowly creeping up, though vaccines are still working well overall to prevent severe disease.

Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Prof Ferguson, whose data was instrumental to the UK going into lockdown in March 2020, said the UK had higher Covid cases than other countries for a number of reasons.



Hospital admissions and deaths are also slowly creeping up, though vaccines are still working well overall to prevent severe disease
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Image:

Getty Images)




“First of all, we have lower functional immunity in our population than most other Western European countries and that’s for two reasons,” he said.

“Partly, we were very successful in getting vaccination rolled out early and we know that gradually immunity wanes over time after you’ve had that second dose, so how early we were means we are a bit more vulnerable.

“Second, we relied more on the AstraZeneca vaccine and, while that protects very well against very severe outcomes of Covid, it protects slightly less well than Pfizer against infection and transmission, particularly in the face of the Delta variant.

“And finally, we just sit behind a few other countries, not dramatically, but we’re no longer in the top rank of European countries in terms of overall vaccination coverage, particularly vaccinating teenagers.”



Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng told Sky News this morning that booster jabs is “something that we really need to address”
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Image:

BBC/AFP via Getty Images)




Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng told Sky News this morning that booster jabs is “something that we really need to address”.

He said: “The critical thing, as my colleague the Health Secretary has said, is about hospitalisation and also deaths, and, thank God, those figures are much, much lower than they were, certainly, at the beginning of the year.”

He said the Government was “concerned” about rising deaths, but added: “You’ll remember at the beginning of the year we had hundreds, if not thousands, a day.

“Mercifully that hasn’t happened and, as the Health Secretary said, it’s something we’re going to have to live with and I think we are managing the situation.”


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