A member of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has said a decision on rolling out a third round of vaccine doses is imminent, with the committee meeting on Thursday (19 August) to discuss who might “really need” another jab.
Committee member Professor Adam Finn said those who are “very unlikely to be well protected by those first two doses” may require a third one.
Advisors have said further evidence is still needed to determine what benefits a booster jab may bring, but concerns are rising over the current high coronavirus case numbers and deaths in the UK.
The number of patients in hospital with Covid-19 in England has climbed to its highest level in five months, reaching a total of 5,514 by 18 August according to the latest figures from NHS England.
Hospital figures have been rising steadily in England over the past few months and despite briefly levelling off in recent weeks, numbers have started climbing again over the last few days.
A further 111 people had died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19 as of Wednesday (18 August), while there were a further 33,904 lab-confirmed cases in the UK, the government said.
Professor Peter Openshaw described the figures as “very warning” and warned that the situation could become worse once schools have returned and the weather turns colder heading into winter.
He said: “I think we’re all really anxious about what’s going to happen once we return to normality.”
“We’re going into the winter with really very high levels of infection out there in the community and we just don’t really know what’s going to happen.”
But where in the UK are Covid-19 highest right now? Listed are the areas which currently have the highest case rates per 100,000 population, based on the latest figures up to 13 August. Images are for illustrative purposes.