MILLIONS of Britons will receive new Omicron-destroying Covid booster shots from September 5 as part of the Autumn Booster Scheme.
It comes as British health chiefs previously became the first in the world to approve an updated version of the Moderna Impulse, targeting two variants.
Scientists say the new vaccine will offer stronger protection because it produces antibodies that more closely match the current strain.
The rollout starts in two weeks and will be offered to all over 50s, vulnerable people and health and care workers – a total of 26 million people.
Care home residents and people who are housebound will be among the first to be bitten when the rollout begins, NHS England has said.
Up to 3,000 locations are expected to be part of the launch, including GP surgeries and community pharmacies, and new venues may be added to the program.
NHS Chief Executive Amanda Pritchard said: “The NHS was the first health system in the world to provide a COVID-19 vaccine outside of clinical trials and will now be the first to provide the new variant-breaking vaccine when rollout begins at Beginning of September.”
Omicron-specific vaccines will be given by default, with regulators also considering a new version of the Pfizer vaccine while the originals are available as a backup.
Vaccines that act on two infections are called bivalent and have been developed by global manufacturers since the advent of the Omicron variant.
Health Secretary Steve Barclay said: “Vaccines remain our best defense against Covid and this safe and effective vaccine will augment immunity and potentially enhance protection against variants as we learn to live with this virus.”
dr Mary Ramsay, from the UK Health Security Agency, added: “By starting booster vaccinations this autumn, you are increasing your protection.”
Moderna’s updated jab targets both the original strain and the first version of Omicron – known as BA.1 – which was adopted in the UK last Christmas.
It’s not an exact match for the current BA.4 and BA.5 omicron variants, but close enough to elicit a “significantly higher” immune response, Moderna said.
The antibody surge is expected to further reduce the risk of hospitalization and death, and provide better protection against transmission.
The MHRA approved the vaccine after clinical trials showed it “elicited a strong immune response” and had no more side effects than the original vaccine.
It is expected to make a decision on Pfizer’s new Omicron booster within weeks.
Stéphane Bancel, CEO of Moderna, said: “We are delighted with the MHRA’s approval of our next-generation Covid-19 vaccine.
https://www.the-sun.com/health/6027793/exact-date-millions-brits-new-omicron-covid-booster-jabs/ Exact date millions of Brits will receive new Omicron-destroying Covid booster jabs