The U.K. Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunization advised against a fourth COVID-19 vaccine dose for elderly and at-risk populations after evidence suggested that a third shot gave them enough immunity.
The committee recommended against the fourth vaccine dose after data showed the third vaccine dose, or booster shot, still gave adequate protection against the coronavirus after three months, The Associated Press reported. Instead, the panel recommended that as many people as possible get their third booster shot to protect against infection.
“The current data show the booster dose is continuing to provide high levels of protection against severe disease, even for the most vulnerable older age groups,” Wei Shen Lim, the committee’s chair, said.
“For this reason, the committee has concluded there is no immediate need to introduce a second booster dose, though this will continue to be reviewed,” Lim added.
Consideration for the fourth booster shot comes amid a significant surge of coronavirus infections in the U.K., in part due to the omicron variant. The U.K., like many countries experiencing an uptick of infections, has also experienced a staff shortage in hospitals due to the disease’s spread.
The military has had to provide resources and support to hospitals as cases rose to 18,454 on Thursday.
In December, infectious disease expert Anthony FauciAnthony FauciOvernight Health Care — Presented by AstraZeneca and Friends of Cancer Research — Former advisers urge Biden to revise strategy US sees record COVID-19 pediatric hospital admissions on Wednesday New Washington secretary of state orders staffers to be vaccinated MORE said it was “too premature” to be discussing a fourth COVID-19 shot in the U.S.
“One of the things that we’re gonna be following very carefully is what the durability of the protection is following the third dose of an mRNA vaccine. If the protection is much more durable than the two dose non-boosted group, and we may go a significant period of time without requiring a fourth dose,” he said.