Brits may find it neccessary to take a third Covid booster shot in order to travel abroad next year as changes are made to the vaccine passport system.
The Minister for Care, Gillian Keegan, told Sky news that the “vaccine passport concept” might “evolve over time as the third dose comes in”, meaning those asked to have the booster jab may need to show proof they have done so in order to easily go and return from abroad.
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However, according to a government adviser, booster jabs are not expected to be made available to the under-50s until well ‘after Christmas’
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Health secretary Sajid Javid has just ordered health chiefs to allow the over-50s to book in their third jab a month earlier than planned.
The booster jabs will not be rolled out to the under-50s until a larger proportion of the older age group have had theirs, which at the current rate is expected to be in early 2022.
Metro reports: The member of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) said more progress is needed with those already eligible for the third shot before extending the rollout.
It comes as care minister Gillian Keegan said changes to the vaccine passport system are coming.
She said: ‘The advice at the moment is the double-jabbed vaccination. But of course, that will evolve as the third dose comes in.
‘It would be unreasonable to say now, when we’ve only just started the programme. We’re trying to get this balance. It’s two doses for now.
‘But as the vaccine passport concept will evolve there will be ‘if you’ve had your booster’ because it’s probably not going to be good for next summer.’
Speaking anonymously, one JCVI member said other steps need to be taken before expanding the rollout, including increasing uptake in care homes, training new people to administer jabs and addressing staff burnout within the NHS.
Asked when the general population could expect to be offered a third shot, they told The i it ‘would probably be well after Christmas’.
They added: ‘When you think about how long ago most of these people had [their second jab], they’re still within the six-month range. And bearing in mind a lot of people will have had Covid — they’re essentially tripled covered.’
The JCVI member also took a swipe at the Government’s mixed-messaging, describing it as a ‘do as we say not do as we do’ attitude.
They added: ‘It’s all very well Sajid Javid saying if you don’t get your boosters you’re going to lose your freedoms by Christmas, but if you look at the House of Commons, and you see most Tory politicians aren’t wearing masks, you think, this is just crazy. It’s do as we say not do as we do. It’s very, very bad public messaging in my view.