Scientists warn that mixed messages about threat of coronavirus could reduce uptake of jabs

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Last Updated on 3 months by Mukesh

Warning mixed messages about the threat of the disease could reduce the uptake of jabs, and the prevailing idea that “Covid is over” may jeopardise England’s autumn booster programme.

With the new dual-variant Covid vaccine from Moderna among those to be administered, the booster campaign is set to begin on 5 September.

Experts have raised concerns about using terms such as “post-pandemic recovery” and ditching other Covid measures such as mass testing.

Azeem Majeed, a GP in west London and professor of primary care and public health at Imperial College London, told ‘The Guardian’ “I think it’s very likely we will see a lower uptake for the autumn Covid-19 vaccine boosters than for the first two vaccinations.”

Also read | UK’s medicine regulator approves first bivalent COVID-19 booster vaccine

Given that vaccinations are planned to start in a matter of weeks, there is no time for a government campaign about the benefits and importance of the booster programme, according to Majeed.

Noting that eight out of 10 of those aged 75 and over had the jab, a Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said “It’s inaccurate to say that a significant number of people didn’t take up their spring booster.”

It comes after Britain became the first country to give a green light to a variant-adapted shot that targets both the original and Omicron version of the virus.

The so-called bivalent vaccine made by US drug company Moderna was approved by the UK medicines regulator (MHRA) as a booster for adults.

(With inputs from agencies)

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