The UK government will offer fully vaccinated nationals aged 50 and older to get a third coronavirus vaccine dose in a bid to have COVID-19 entirely gone and done with by Christmas, The Times reported on Wednesday, citing sources.
According to the newspaper, UK Chief Medical Officer for England Chris Whitty is supervising trials of two possible scenarios of the extra vaccination step.
The first scenario is to give people a third dose of an existing approved vaccine, while the second reportedly involves inoculation with a modified vaccine targeting specifically the new variants. The UK vaccination campaign uses the vaccines by Pfizer/BioNTech, Oxford/AstraZeneca or Moderna.
UK scientists reportedly consider these methods so effective as to render the coronavirus incidence insignificant by Christmas and bring about a level of public immunity high enough for young people not to need revaccination.
The United Kingdom has confirmed over 4.4 million cases of COVID-19, including over 127,500 fatalities.
According to government data, at least 34.7 million people have received a first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, while over 15.6 million people have had the corresponding second dose.