Boris Johnson says UK is readying fourth Covid vaccine rollout: ‘We’re going to need it’

The UK will roll out another coronavirus vaccine booster shot, Boris Johnson has said.

Mr Johnson revealed the planned booster rollout on Saturday in an address at the Conservative Party’s spring conference.

In his speech, Mr Johnson praised the “instinct” of the British population to “choose freedom every time,” noting that they had “come forward to be vaccinated at such incredible speed, voluntarily, unlike many other countries.”

Mr Johnson claimed that while “part of it was that they wanted to avoid catching Covid,” many did so because “they wanted to get on with their lives, and were fed up being told what to do by people like me.”

Addressing the audience, he added: “I hope you’ve all had your boosters? Well, we’re getting ready for a fourth jab, because we’re going to need it.”

A fourth jab is already set to be rolled out for over-75s, care home residents and the immunocompromised in the coming weeks.

However, Health Secretary Sajid Javid suggested earlier this week that a fourth jab rollout for the general population will follow by the end of 2022.

He told ITV’s Peston: “When it comes to vaccinations I think we rightly take the advice of our clinicians.

“They look at the data very, very carefully and their latest advice as you say is that there should be a second boost – or let’s call it a fourth dose – but to focus on those over 75, those in care homes, those who are immunosuppressed.”

When pushed as to whether this would be widened to the general population – not just those who are considered vulnerable, Mr Javid said: “I think at some point they will… their most recent advice is that they think that towards the end of this year, maybe in the autumn, there will be a need to give a lot more people a boost, but I’ll wait for that advice.”

Around one in 20 people in private households in England had Covid-19 in the week to 12 March, data from an Office for National Statistics (ONS) infection survey revealed on Friday, as infections continue to rise across most of the UK.

The figure, equivalent to 2.7 million people, is up from one in 25, or 2.1 million people, in the previous week.

Despite plans to abolish free testing and the lifting of all remaining Covid rules in England, NHS leaders have warned a surge in Covid admissions is having a “significant impact” on the health service including longer waits for emergency beds and delays to operations.



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