Booster shots

Can boosters save us from further restrictions?

The JCVI has announced that all over 18s will be offered a booster jab and that the gap between the second dose and the booster shot will be halved from six months to three. Those with weakened immune systems will be offered a fourth shot and 12 to 15-year-olds a second dose of vaccine. These announcements are clearly in response to the Omicrom variant, which appears to spread particularly quickly. Jonathan Van-Tam likened its effect on the UK’s response to the virus to a football team going down to ten men. In recent months, the UK — and in particular, England — has had a heavily vaccine-based strategy for living

No. 10 moves to kickstart the booster campaign

In a move that as important as any in the recent Cabinet reshuffle, Emily Lawson is returning to run the Covid vaccination programme. Lawson headed up NHS England’s vaccination team during the rollout, and after its success, she was moved to take charge of the new Number 10 delivery unit. The hope was that she would bring the rollout mindset to public services more broadly. The delivery unit, modelled on its Blair era predecessor, is meant to ensure that the government actually does what it says it is going to do. Such is its importance that Lawson addressed the first meeting of the newly reshuffled Cabinet. The fact that she is

Can booster shots help Britain avoid another lockdown?

For weeks now, ministers have been getting increasingly frustrated by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation’s failure (JCVI) to back a wide-ranging programme of booster shots. Today it has finally recommended a third dose for everyone in clinical groups one to nine, which is, essentially, everyone over 50. Sajid Javid, the Health Secretary, has already accepted the recommendation and the programme will begin next week. Will this be enough to prevent the need for another lockdown? The booster programme should prevent the waning immunity problem, which was one of the reasons why Israel was hit by an unexpected fourth wave. The government is relying very heavily on boosters to avoid more restrictive