UK government advisers have recommended not giving a fourth dose of COVID-19 vaccine to nursing home residents and people over 80 years of age because data shows a third injection provides lasting protection against the disease. admission to hospital.
For people over 65, protection against hospitalization remains at around 90% three months after the third dose, according to data compiled by the UK Health Security Agency.
As a result, the Joint Committee on Immunization and Immunization informed the government on Friday that there was no need to offer a fourth dose, or a second booster, to vulnerable people at this time. Instead, the government should focus on giving a third dose to as many people as possible to strengthen protection against the highly transmissible variant of omicron.
“Current data shows that the booster dose continues to provide high levels of protection against serious illness even for the most vulnerable age groups,” said Professor Wei Shen Lim, chairman of the committee. “For this reason, the committee concluded that there was no need to introduce a second booster dose immediately, although this will continue to be examined.”
The UK is rushing to offer booster shots to adults across the country after research showed two doses were not enough to protect people from omicron. The variant has fueled an increase in coronavirus infections and hospitalizations.
The number of people hospitalized in the UK with COVID-19 rose to 18,454 on Thursday, more than double the figure two weeks earlier.
The rise in staff absences from UK hospitals has already prompted the military to provide support to besieged doctors and nurses.
More than 39,000 hospital staff in England were on sick leave for COVID-19-related reasons on January 2, up 59% from the previous week, according to NHS England.
The respected trade publication, The Health Service Journal, said staff absences across the National Health Service, including mental health trusts and other areas, could reach 1,20,000.