Health Secretary Sajid Javid has confirmed that a booster shot providing a third dose for those most at risk of developing serious COVID-19 symptoms will be rolled out this coming autumn.
A third vaccine to come
Although the exact date has yet to be confirmed, Javid said that 'the most vulnerable' would be first in line to receive the booster shot. In a statement, the Health Secretary explained:
We are going to have a booster scheme. It will start some time in September. I couldn't tell you exactly when because before we start it... we need to get the final advice from our group of experts, our independent scientific and medical advisers, the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), and so we're waiting for their final opinion.
Who should be getting it first?
But the decision to offer additional protection does not come without its fair amount of contention. Now, the question as to who exactly needs a booster shot more than another is raising scientific and ethical doubts. Dr. Adam Finn who is also a member of the JCVI says that offering a booster jab is crucial:
[some people] need a third dose, particularly people who we know are very unlikely to be well protected by those first two doses. But I think we do need more evidence before we can make a firm decision on a much broader booster programme.
But others believe that the less privileged citizens of other countries should benefit from these jabs as they have yet to even have received any protection against the virus.
In the UK alone, about 70% of its entire population has received at least one dose of the vaccine while in the poorest countries that figure is about one percent. As it stands, richer countries are being accused of giving vaccines to people with very little risk of developing complications instead of giving those resources to countries in more precarious situations.