UK decision on Covid vaccine recalls expected Thursday | Coronavirus
The UK’s vaccine watchdog is expected to decide on a Covid booster vaccine program on Thursday, ministers hope vaccination approval for 12 to 15 year olds could follow imminently.
The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunization (JCVI) is due to meet on Thursday to consider the interim results of the Cov-Boost study, which examines the impact of one of seven different vaccines as a third dose, in plus Pfizer or AstraZeneca Vaccines.
The research, led by the University of Southampton, is seen as the main focus of JCVI’s deliberations, with the government ready to launch an immediate large-scale recall program if approved.
Some scientists say there is limited evidence for the effectiveness of such jabs beyond people with clinical vulnerabilities, despite countries like Israel pursuing population-wide boosters.
It is understood that JCVI members will not receive any materials for the meeting until Wednesday evening, in an effort to avoid leaks.
A week ago, the JCVI approved the use of a third vaccination for half a million people with severely weakened immune systems, although this was touted as separate from a formal booster program.
Ministers are also awaiting news on 12-15 year olds, after JCVI said on Friday that the evidence for the clinical benefits of vaccinating this age group was not strong enough to recommend it.
Rather, the committee suggested ministers ask the four chief medical officers from UK countries to look at broader factors such as the potential impact of disruptions in schools.
Javid said on Wednesday he expected a decision on the children to come from the UK’s four chief medical officers within days.
He told Sky News: “I want to give them a break, this is their independent point of view and that is exactly what it should be. But I would expect to hear from them in the next few days.
He said consent would be sought from parents of children aged 12 to 15, as has been “for decades,” but if children and their parents cannot get along, the child would prevail as long as he is competent enough to decide.
He said: “If there is a difference of opinion between the child and the parent, then we have specialists working in this area, the schools immunization service. They would usually literally sit down with the parent and child and try to come to some sort of consensus.
“If in the end that doesn’t work, as long as we think the child is competent enough to make that decision, then the child will win.”
Javid also said he was “very confident” that the UK will have a booster program so older people can receive a third jab.
He told Sky News: “In terms of who actually gets it and when, we’re waiting for the final advice that could definitely come from JCVI in the coming days.”
He said the advice should include information on whether people should be given different vaccines than they have already received, adding: “I am confident we can start the booster program this month. . “
Scientists from the Government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) subgroup on modeling said decisions on whether to go ahead with booster vaccines and vaccines for 12 to 15 year olds would likely not have much of a difference in the trajectory of cases and hospitalizations. during the fall.
Behavior changes, such as an increased mix inside and the severity of this year’s flu season, are expected to have a bigger impact on cases and the overall burden on the NHS, according to experts, who also said they did not expect a large increase in severe cases of Covid in the coming weeks.
Chris Jewell, epidemiologist at Lancaster University, said: “Based on the current situation, most people agree that we are unlikely to see a massive increase in hospitalizations during the fall. “Things seem to be pretty stable.”
Paul Hunter, professor of medicine at the University of East Anglia, said while he did not expect an increase in Covid cases, the flu remained a major concern. “We have had a bad flu year because we had very little flu last year and less the year before. If you have Covid and you get the flu at the same time, you are twice as likely to die. ”