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London Evening Standard - 2021-11-25

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Getting booster jab will give ‘very high’ Christmas protection

News

John Dunne

PEOPLE who have had their booster vaccine by December 11 will have “very high protection against Covid-19 by Christmas Day”, the Department of Health and Social Care has said. Research has shown that two weeks after a booster, people have very high level of protection from getting a symptomatic case of coronavirus. It comes as some of Britain’s biggest charities have backed the booster campaign. The British Heart Foundation, Cancer Research UK and Diabetes UK are among 16 charities encouraging vulnerable people to take up the offer of a top-up jab. So far about 16 million people have had a booster vaccine or a third dose across Britain. However, the Standard has revealed that as many as 2.7 million Londoners aged 16 or older may not have had their first jab. Newham has more than 130,000 residents aged 18 or older who have yet to receive a first vaccination, followed by Brent on 125,000, Lambeth on 117,000 and Ealing on 111,000, an analysis of NHS data showed. It comes amid growing concern that most Covid patients in intensive care are unvaccinated. People aged 40 and over and the clinically vulnerable are able to get a booster six months after their second jab. Eligible people are encouraged to get the jab as soon as possible after data showed falling levels of protection from symptomatic disease and hospital admission six months after a second dose. A department spokesman said: “People who have had their booster vaccine by December 11 will have very high protection against Covid-19 by Christmas Day... Those eligible for a booster have been urged to take up the offer as soon as possible.” A study previously published by the UK Health Security Agency showed in adults aged 50 years and over, protection against symptomatic infection was 93.1 per cent in those whose first two doses were of the Oxford/AstraZeneca jab. Those who had an initial course of Pfizer saw protection rise to 94 per cent. Health Secretary Sajid Javid said: “The vaccines are safe and effective and are helping us build a wall of defence against Covid-19. Please come forward for yours as soon as you can.”

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