All vaccine options being explored for booster shots
More now from vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi on booster jabs.
After his interview with Sky News, the minister spoke to BBC Breakfast and confirmed England’s chief medical officer Chris Whitty was looking at a range of vaccines for any potential booster shots.
Mr Zahawi said: “Now, we will make available to Chris Whitty and his team as many options as we can, whether it’s the Pfizer 60 million doses that we announced last week, or the work we’re doing with the Oxford-AstraZeneca team for a vaccine variant or with Moderna, or with the Novavax vaccine which works very well against the South African variant, and the Kent variant, or the Scottish vaccine, the Valneva vaccine we want to give the scientists as much optionality, as many options, to be able to deploy a booster.”
Alongside Professor Whitty, deputy chief medical officer Professor Jonathan Van-Tam is looking at whether people should be given a booster of a different vaccine to enhance protection, Mr Zahawi said.
And the NHS will be “ready for deployment from September onwards”.
He added that investment in Porton Down would “future-proof the vaccination programme for next year and the years beyond that, as we move from pandemic to endemic and deal with it in the way we would deal with the annual flu vaccination programme”.
The laboratory has been given around £50m to increase its capacity for testing new variants of the virus against vaccines.
But the vaccine minister did not make clear when booster shots would start for over-50s.