Why clarity is needed on vaccines and booster jabs – The Yorkshire Post says

EVEN though the Afghanistan crisis remains all-consuming, it is also important that the Government – and country – does not lose sight of the Covid pandemic and forthcoming challenges.

The first is next month’s reopening of schools – supposedly the remit of Education Secretary Gavin Williamson – and ensuring the risks of infection, and transmission, are kept to an absolute minimum.

It is to be hoped that the Government is learning from the experience of Scotland where the return to school has, unfortunately, coincided with a spike in cases.

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As such, this is not a time for complacency – or absurd suggestions like Mr Williamson’s department advising outdoor lessons in winter – if a third successive academic year is not to be seriously disrupted by the pandemic.

An announcement on booster jabs is said to be imminent.

Equally, the Government’s communications will need to be far more sure-footed when it comes to booster jabs if, as appears likely, they’re approved by medical regulators to be given to patients at the same time as injections to guard against winter flu.

The disclosure yesterday that the effectiveness of existing Covid jabs begins to diminish after several months already prompted some angst amongst some elderly and clinically vulnerable residents – particularly those who were amongst the first tranche of people to be inoculated last December and in the early weeks of this year.

And while some GP surgeries, like Guiseley and Yeadon Medical Practice, have sent out text messages this week advising patients that they will receive Covid and flu jabs simultaneously, and to “await further instructions for booking”, an update from Sajid Javid, the Health Secretary, will be immensely helpful.

Not only will this reassure families – but it will also give the NHS, and pharmacies, adequate time to prepare for the next phase of the next great logistical challenge to face them and the country.

Sajid Javid is the Health and Social Care Secretary.

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An announcement is expected shortly on Covid booster jabs.