COVID-19: UK considering possibility of third dose along with flu vaccine

UK media reported on Wednesday that half of the UK population could be offered a third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine during a flu vaccination campaign starting in the fall. The purpose of this potential double vaccination: to avoid new health restrictions this winter, while the country is experiencing an increase in contamination due to the prevalence of the delta variant.

The BBC says the United Kingdom’s Public Health Service (NHS) has actually been given the green light to plan a booster program for the COVID vaccine. Relevant profiles would be adults age 50 and older, as well as any young people who qualify for the flu shot (people with compromised immune systems, social workers, nursing staff, etc.). Which represents over 30 million Britons.

Public health officials want to offer these boosters at the same time as the annual flu shot. The Guardian said the government is expected to make a decision on the plan during the summer.

maintain immune defense

According to the provisional opinion of the Joint Immunization and Immunization Committee (JCVI) – the equivalent of the Technical Committee on Immunization in France – these booster shots will allow protection against SARS-CoV-2 and its variants, which will be maintained in most people. exposure before the onset of winter. The BBC said no decision had yet been made on which vaccine would be used.

“We want to be at the forefront of COVID-19 booster vaccination to minimize the chances of loss of vaccine protection due to weakened immunity or variants. Especially in the coming autumn and winter,” said Professor Jonathan Van-Tam, a British Health Service official, The Guardian reports.

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Last week, British experts alerted the government of health risks other than COVID-19, which the winter flu could represent. According to him, the decline in immunity may have been due to the very low prevalence of influenza cases last year.

In France, as in the whole of the Channel, experts from the Haute Autorité de Sainte (HAS) warned “on the possibility of a greater susceptibility of the population to influenza virus due to a decrease in immune stimulation due to the absence of a last-minute flu pandemic. , ”the Directorate General of Health told Paris last week. It “takes all our attention to prepare for the campaign for the risk, DGS specified, vaccination”, which will be launched in the second half of October.

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