The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JVCI) are discussing a potential booster campaign amidst concerns that two doses are not effective enough.
In a JVCI meeting this morning, a government scientific adviser claimed there may be people who “really need” a third dose of the Coronavirus vaccine.
JVCI member Professor Adam Finn spoke of all people over a certain age receiving the booster jab, though he is uncertain as to whether this will make a difference.
“I think at this point we need to focus on individuals who are more likely, if you like, to get sick again if they’ve not got a booster”, he told BBC breakfast.
A further uncertainty lies in the question of whether the booster jab would be effective if only offered to people in certain age and risk groups. The JVCI said this point was “less clear”, but stressed the import of identifying which people “are really at risk and really need that third dose.”
This comes on the back of discussions already underway in the U.S. about the efficacy of two doses. U.S. health officials have already authorized a third dose of COVID-19 vaccines for people with compromised immune systems, based on evidence that the standard two shots offered less robust protection in such populations.
The JVCI remains adamant that being double dosed is of key importance. A spokesperson said “at this point I think the main message is that the direct protective effects of these vaccines is excellent”.
However, they continued on a less optimistic note, alluding to a potential need for further vaccination in the future.
“The ability of the programme to actually stop the virus from circulating around in the population is less good than we’d hoped.”