Covid live: over-40s in UK to be offered booster jabs and 16 and 17-year-olds advised to get second doses

Posted by on November 15, 2021 4:44 am
Categories: Global Stories

All over 40s in UK should be offered third dose of Covid vaccine, British government advises

In the UK, Conservative party chairman Oliver Dowden has backed AstraZeneca’s controversial announcement that it is moving to seek a profit from its Covid vaccine sales. Britain’s biggest pharma firm late last week said it expects the vaccine to move to “modest profitability” as new orders are received. This morning on Sky News, asked about it, Dowden said:

Well, I think the drug companies like AstraZeneca, who invested huge amounts of money into the vaccine programme, are entitled to have a profit from their investment. Actually, if you look at the Oxford AstraZeneca model, and contrast it to others around the world, the number of very, very low cost doses that are made available particularly to developing countries is an exemplary model.

If we look at his year, compared with where we were last year, of course it’s not just the overall number of cases, hospital admissions and deaths we need to look at, but also the trends. If we look at that, we can see that although there has been quite a lot of variation over the past few weeks, and we’re still reporting very high numbers of cases, the total number of daily hospitalisations and the total number of deaths are quite long way below where we were in November last year, which should give us some level of confidence.

If we look at the situation in Germany, for example, over the past couple of weeks cases have been rising in a really concerning way. And that’s the really key thing in terms of whether we need to react in response to what’s going on in Europe. When we already have a high number of cases, it doesn’t necessarily mean we need more restrictions to prevent what might come in from Europe, but really what it actually is, is a message that really shows us how important it is to get vaccinated so that we do prevent cases starting to rise again and of course that’s spilling over into hospital admissions.

I think there’s some really tough decisions that have to be made actually over the next few weeks. When it gets to younger people what they have to look at is the benefits and the risks to the individual. And the thing with very young children is generally they don’t get very sick. But by vaccinating them it protects the rest of the population indirectly, so that’s the decision that the government guided by Joint Committee for Vaccinations and Immunisations are going to have to make over the next few weeks

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