Speed Reads

Three's enough for now

4th jab not necessary for nursing home residents and elderly, say U.K. government advisers

Government public health advisers in the United Kingdom recommended Friday that nursing home residents and people over the age of 80 not be given a fourth dose of COVID-19 vaccine, The Associated Press reports.

Based on their analysis of public health data, the U.K. Health Security Agency concluded that a fourth jab is unnecessary because even three months after the third dose, protection against hospitalization remains at around 90 percent for those over 65.

Prof. Wei Shen Lim, chair of the U.K. Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunization, said that given the need to focus on getting third shots into the arms of the general population, there is "no immediate need" to boost seniors again, but that public health officials could revisit the possibility at a later date.

As of Friday, around 35 million Brits had received a third injection out of a population of over 67 million, according to data provided by the U.K. government.

New cases in the U.K. are at an all-time high, with public health authorities reporting a seven-day average over 180,000 cases per day. The seven-day average for deaths, however, is less than 140 per day, well below the January 2021 peak of more than 1,300. At that time, the daily number of new cases was less than 40,000.