Wales will look at fourth vaccine dose next year if current booster offers ‘waning protection’
Wales will look at offering a fourth dose of the Covid vaccine next year if the current booster offers “waning protection”, the First Minister has said.
Mark Drakeford was asked in the Senedd by Welsh Conservative leader Andrew RT Davies whether a fourth jab would be necessary.
Israel has already started rolling out a fourth dose of the vaccine, while German Health Minister Karl Lauterbach said they would take similar moves today.
Andrew RT Davies asked if there were any plans “for a fourth booster dose to be made available, especially to those individuals who were obviously in the first tranche of boosters back in September and October?”
Mark Drakeford said that Israel had been ahead of other countries “all the way through the vaccination process” and so they were ahead in needing to top up people’s protection against Covid.
“We are indeed looking at the evidence of how long the current booster offers you the maximum protection,” Mark Drakeford said.
“And if it does turn out that it is waning protection and we need to do more later into next year, then, of course, alongside other parts of the United Kingdom, we will look to put such a programme in place.”
Israel was the first country to offer a fourth vaccine dose to over-60s, the clinically vulnerable and medical workers.
“This is wonderful news that will assist us in getting through the omicron wave that is engulfing the world,” Naftali Bennett, the Israeli prime minister, said on Tuesday night.
German Health Minister Karl Lauterbach said that he had ordered four million doses of the newly approved vaccine Novavax and 11 million doses of the new Valneva shot, which was waiting for marketing authorisation. The Novavax shots will arrive in the country in January, he told a news conference.
“An offensive booster campaign is our most important building block in the fight against omicron,” the health minister said.
Support our Nation today
For the price of a cup of coffee a month you can help us create an independent, not-for-profit, national news service for the people of Wales, by the people of Wales.