COVID deaths in the UK have risen by another 149 today with a further 35,000 new cases – but only a small percentage of people are set to get a booster jab next month.
Despite thousands still becoming infected every day, only those who are most vulnerable are due to get another shot of the jab in September – which is just a few hundred thousand people.
Just today, another 35,847 cases of Covid were recorded in the UK.
This brings the total number of people infected since the beginning of the pandemic to 6,590,747.
It comes after Covid deaths in the UK reached their highest in five months as 174 new fatalities were recorded yesterday – the highest reported daily death toll since March 12.
But the government's jab booster programme will only be given to a few hundred thousand of the most vulnerable next month, the Mail reports.
The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation is expected to advise those severely weakened immune systems to get a third jab from September 6 – but even many older people are expected to have to wait.
A government source told the outlet: "We're only talking about a few hundred thousand people in the first phase.
"I'd be surprised if it was more than a fifth of that [3.7m] during the first round. I wouldn’t expect all of the extremely vulnerable to be offered a vaccine this autumn because they won't need it.
"In practice, evidence suggests some of those groups make a much better immune response [after vaccination] than other."
It comes after the Health Secretary revealed Covid booster shots and flu jabs are set to be offered to priority groups from next month.
Sajid Javid confirmed earlier this month he expects the rollout to begin in September – to protect the vulnerable ahead of winter.
He said: "When it comes to booster jabs we are waiting for the final advice from JCVI, that's our group of independent clinical advisers, and when we get that advice we will be able to start the booster programme, but I anticipate it will begin in early September, so I'm already making plans for that.
"It's really important that when we start that programme, the sort of first cohorts, the ones that got the jabs early on when we started our programme – the first in the world back in December last year – that those cohorts come first and so we will be prioritising it.
"Also in terms of vaccination, it's important to say that they're working."
Meanwhile, a study has found people who got their Covid jab at the start of the year are 50 per cent less protected now.
The research in Israel discovered those jabbed in January and February have seen their immunity dip, compared to those vaccinated in March and April.
It found those jabbed in the earlier months are 53 per cent more likely to get infected.
This follows the early predictions of waning immunity from vaccines that experts gave as the global rollout began.
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