UK Says Booster Shots Still Protecting Older People Against Omicron

By Reuters Staff

January 10, 2022

LONDON (Reuters) - Booster jabs are continuing to provide high levels of protection against severe disease from the Omicron coronavirus variant among older adults and there is no need for now for people to have a fourth shot, British health officials said on Friday.

Around three months after receiving a third jab, protection against hospitalisation among those aged 65 and over remained at about 90%, the UK Health Security Agency said.

"The data is highly encouraging and emphasises the value of a booster jab," Wei Shen Lim, chair for COVID-19 immunisation on the government's Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation, said in a statement.

"The current data show the booster dose is continuing to provide high levels of protection against severe disease, even for the most vulnerable older age groups," he said.

"For this reason, the committee has concluded there is no immediate need to introduce a second booster dose, though this will continue to be reviewed."

Protection against mild symptomatic infection was more short-lived than against severe disease and dropped to around 30% after about three months, the UKHSA said.

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