LONDON—The U.K. government said it is preparing to deliver booster Covid-19 vaccine shots from September, in case extra protection is needed to deal with waning immunity from initial doses and to bolster protection against new variants of the coronavirus.
The U.K. is among the first governments to set out provisional plans for booster shots, following advice from specialists who are concerned that possible further Covid-19 outbreaks over the winter could coincide with a wave of influenza and put pressure on the country’s health system.
The government said the actual rollout would depend on further advice from an expert group known as the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunization, based on a host of new data, including whether protection from the vaccines weakens after six months.
Health Secretary Sajid Javid said the advice would help preparations for the fall. “We need to learn to live with this virus,” he said.
The booster program will, in principle, start in September among people of age 70 and over, as well as those who are clinically vulnerable, before being rolled out to those 50 and older. The JCVI has suggested delivering flu shots and the Covid-19 doses at the same time.