BRITS will have to get used to a never-ending cycle of vaccines and boosters to tackle mutant variants of Covid, Boris Johnson warned this afternoon.
The PM said today that the measures were needed to keep people safe from the ever-changing Covid variants.
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He told MPs today at PMQS: “We, I think we’re going to have to get used to the idea of vaccinating and then revaccinated in the autumn, as we as we come to face these new variants.”
At the weekend scientists and ministers warned a boost jab might be needed for people later this year to tackle the new variants which are spreading across the world.
The vaccines so far do have an affect on the new strains, according to early research, but some mild illness is still occurring in some studies.
In order to combat that, scientists are looking at tweaking their vaccines, ready for boosters later in the year if needed.
Health chiefs have said they expect the annual Covid jabs to become like the flu – with regularly boosters needed.
It comes after HOAR revealed last night just one Covid jab offers two-thirds protection against the virus, the first official data from the vaccine blitz reveals.
Findings — due out in days — will show the Pfizer vaccine starts to work in as little as two weeks and is equally effective in OAPs as younger adults.
The Oxford/AstraZeneca jab offers similar protection.
The good news — as Sir Michael Caine backed the jabs drive and the number vaccinated rose to 12.65million — raises hopes of an earlier exit from lockdown.
A Government source called the findings “hugely positive”.
The dose reduced the symptomatic infection risk by 65 per cent in younger adults, and 64 per cent in over-80s.
Experts found Brits given two shots of the jab saw protection rise to between 79 and 84 per cent, depending on age.
Although lower than the 95 per cent efficacy shown in clinical trials, the figures remain hugely encouraging.
Early data suggests hospital cases among immunised older Brits have started falling to a “fraction of previous levels”.
A Government source said: “One of the key findings is the Pfizer vaccine is having just as big an impact in over-80s as in under-65s.
“The only difference is that protection starts after 15 days in younger age groups, but it takes three weeks for it to work in older people.”
Paul Hunter, professor of medicine at the University of East Anglia, said the data was “quite amazing”.
He told HOAR: “If these numbers are borne out, then they are very reassuring.
“If they are achieving 65 per cent protection after three weeks with both jabs, then I think that’s really good.
“And that’s a vindication of our current strategy as it protects more people than giving two doses three weeks apart.
“I am still, despite the South African strain, quite confident that we will see a gradual opening of the society, probably starting with schools opening early March.”