A third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine is to be offered to everyone over 18 in the UK, in an effort to strengthen the protection of the public against the Omicron variant, scientists advising the government on its decision on Monday recommended. vaccination campaign.
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This third dose, until now reserved for over 40s, must now be offered three months and no longer six months after the second dose of vaccine, advised the experts of this committee, the JCVI, at a conference of hurry.
They also recommended that children between the ages of 12 and 15 be given a second dose of the coronavirus vaccine three months after receiving the first.
England’s deputy chief medical officer Professor Jonathan Van-Tam said Omicron whom he called a “newcomer” was concerning.
The number of mutations present in this variant “makes us fear a possible effect on the effectiveness of the vaccine”, he explained, while calling on the population not to “panic”.
Several cases of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus have been detected in the UK: six in Scotland, some unrelated to overseas travel, and three others in Nottingham (central England), Chelmsford (east London) and in a person who had visited London but has since left the country.
144,700 dead in the United Kingdom
With more than 144,700 dead, the UK is among the countries hardest hit by the pandemic. In total, over 88% of those over 12 received a first dose of the vaccine in the UK, over 80% a second dose and over 30% a third dose.
Faced with questions raised by this variant deemed “worrying” by the WHO, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced on Saturday the implementation of new restrictions.
Wearing a mask in transport and shops will become compulsory again from Tuesday – but not in pubs and restaurants -, and the mask is also strongly recommended in common areas of schools from the age of 11.
Also from Tuesday, travelers arriving in the UK will have to take a PCR test no later than two days after arrival, and self-isolate until results. This obligation will also be implemented in Scotland which decides, like the other nations of the country, on its response to the health crisis.
These measures will be reassessed in three weeks, according to the British government.