It has only been a couple of weeks since the British government started rolling out the third booster vaccine in mass volumes, but talks of a potential fourth dose are already starting to take hold.
While authorities have yet to take a public stance on the matter, Professor Adam Finn, a member of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has said that it is a very likely scenario. He said on LBC Radio:
There will be people probably who will receive a fourth jab.
Whether that will be everyone is still very much in doubt.
We do need to see how things go through this wave and beyond.
For now, he believes that the first in line for the fourth jab will be the clinically vulnerable and elderly people. Finn added:
But I think there may well be people who receive their boosters early who are in the older and more vulnerable age groups who may need a further jab.
That has not been decided yet. It’s still under review and discussion and we will be providing recommendations on that at some point in the New Year.
Fourth dose in Israel
As of now, Israel is the only country in the world that is officially planning to give out a fourth dose to everyone over the age of 60. The recommendation, which was made by their Pandemic Expert Committee, has yet to be authorised by the health ministry, but according to BBC the move has been welcomed by Prime Minister Naftali Bennett. He said:
This is wonderful news that will assist us in getting through the Omicron wave that is engulfing the world.
The citizens of Israel were the first in the world to receive the third dose of the Covid-19 vaccine and we are continuing to pioneer with the fourth dose as well.
In response to Israel's plan, Professor Anthony Harnden, the deputy chair of JCVI, said that more data was needed to say the same for the UK. He explained:
We need to see more data. We are in different circumstances to Israel and we need to see more data on waning immunity and vaccine effectiveness against hospitalisation.