The Secretary of State for Health, Matt Hancock, announced today: “It is likely we will need a booster programme in the autumn to deal with new variants.” This is to cope with the inevitable evolution of coronavirus. There have been over 25 million people in the UK who have received their first vaccine. One million more have now had their second jab, but there’s still a large part of the population who haven’t had their coronavirus jab.
The vaccination roll-out programme hasn’t even finished, and Hancock is suggesting another updated jab will need to be given to the public.
However, this was to be expected, as the coronavirus jab is likely to turn into an annual jab, much like the flu jab.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have detected two new variants of concern in California – B1427 and B1429.
Neither of the new variants of concern are thought to escape the effectiveness of currently approved vaccines, said the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy.
Variants of concern around the world do affect the UK in some capacity, as international travel is more commonplace.
Current UK guidelines have stated that by June 21 all restrictions will be lifted, including travel.
This may change, depending on the data, and so the success of the vaccination programme is a global effort.
A full list of variants of concern have been published by Public Health England – available here.
Alongside vaccination, the best way to limit the spread of this disease is to isolate if you have any Covid symptoms.
The main Covid symptoms to be aware of include:
- A new continous cough
- A high temperature
- A loss or change to your sense of smell or taste
If you suspect you have coronavirus, order a free NHS Covid test online and isolate until you get your results back.
Should the result be positive, you will need to self isolate for a further 10 days from that point forward.