Matt Hancock reveals thousands will get Covid booster jabs in world-first trials to tackle autumn ‘wave’

THOUSANDS of Brits will receive coronavirus booster jabs in a world-first trial in the UK, Health Secretary Matt Hancock has announced.

Mr Hancock this evening said the trial would help "fool proof" the UK's response to the pandemic.

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It's hoped that the booster jabs will help prevent an autumn wave of the virus in the UK.

People receiving the booster shot will have to be 30 or over and will need to have been jabbed early on in the vaccine programme.

This could mean people over the age of 75, as well as health and care workers would receive the extra jab as part of the trial.

So far in the UK 36.9 million people have received a first dose of a coronavirus jab, with 20.8 million now having had a second.

This week it was revealed that people aged 35 and over would be able to book appointments for their jabs as the UK continued to charge through the vaccine rollout.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson also stated today that 70 per cent of UK adults have now had a vaccine.

It comes as:

  • Indian Covid variant cases rise by 28% in 2 days as infections on the rise – with surge testing in 8 new UK hotspots
  • 70% of UK adults have now had vaccine as Boris Johnson ramps up jab efforts to combat Indian variant
  • Fury as ‘red list’ passengers forced to mix with green listers as airport closures spark ‘super-spreader’ mixing
  • Indian variant cases ‘concentrated in school age kids and young adults’ who haven’t been jabbed
  • Brits warned to ‘ration’ hugs amid Indian variant spread fears


The new vaccine trial will look at seven different booster shots given at least 10 to 12 weeks after a second dose as part of the ongoing vaccination programme.

Each volunteer will get one booster – which could be a different brand to the one they were originally vaccinated with.

There are three jabs already been rolled out, the Pfizer/BioNTech, the Oxford/AstraZeneca and the Moderna.

For example, if volunteers have already been jabbed with the Moderna they could be offered a Pfizer shot.

The three jabs already in circulation will be part of the trial as well as Novavax, Valneva, Janssen and Curevac.


Mr Hancock said: "The UK vaccination programme has been a phenomenal national effort, with seven in 10 UK adults now having had their first Covid-19 jab.

"It is vital that we continue to support the world-renowned British research sector that has contributed to its success.

“We will do everything we can to future-proof this country from pandemics and other threats to our health security, and the data from this world-first clinical trial will help shape the plans for our booster programme later this year."

He urged everyone who has had both doses of the jab and who is eligible to sign up to "play a part in protecting the most vulnerable people in this country and around the world for months and years to come.”


It comes after areas where the Indian variant are dominant have been given extra jab capacity.

Sites in Blackburn and Bolton have extended their opening hours in order to protect as many people as possible.

Vaccine uptake has been high across the country but Mr Hancock this week suggested people in hospital with the Indian variant, in hotspot areas such as Blackburn and Bolton, had not taken the jab even though they were eligible.

Cases are the highest in Bolton – where the Indian strain is now the dominant strain and Mr Johnson thanked residents in the area for coming forward to have their jabs.

There is now thought to be 23 areas in England where the variant is dominant and Mr Johnson today said that data shows that vaccines do work against the variant.

The trial has received ethics approval by the NHS Research Ethics Committee, as well as approval from the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency.

The team heading up the story is urging people from different backgrounds and ethnic groups to sign up by clicking this link.

Chief Investigator and Director of NIHR Southampton Clinical Research Facility Professor Saul Faust said the trial will give the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) the important data to inform their recommendations of how to protect the population against any future wave.

He added: “It is fantastic that so many people across the country have taken part in vaccine trials up to now so that we can be in a position to study the effects of boosters, and we hope that as many people as possible over the age of 30 who received their first dose early in the NHS programme will be able to take part.”

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