Dr Hilary discusses possible Covid wave
Health officials welcome the move for the privatisation of Covid vaccines in the near future.
A spokesperson from the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) clarified what this means for British people.
“We have spoken to manufacturers we’re in contract with and made it clear we won’t prevent them initiating a private market for COVID-19 vaccines; rather we’d welcome such an innovation in the UK.”
Philippa Harvey, the director of the Covid vaccine unit at UKHSA, made clear that COVID-19 vaccination “continues to target those at higher risk of serious illness”.
While the autumn Covid booster on the NHS has been pushed forward in the UK, the age requirement has been raised from 50 to 65.
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People younger than 65 who are immunocompromised, and the like, are still eligible for a Covid booster; healthcare teams will be in touch with those who are eligible.
Philippa Harvey added: “The COVID-19 vaccine is not currently available to buy privately in the UK, but there is no blanket restriction on private sales of licensed vaccines.
“UKHSA will continue to work with manufacturers to ensure there is sufficient vaccine supply available to the NHS programme.
“As far as we’re concerned, the ball is in the court of the manufacturers to develop the market with private healthcare providers.”
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Pharmacies and private clinics could offer private Covid vaccinations, akin to the flu jabs they currently offer to the public, as early as next year.
The government’s two suppliers, Moderna and Pfizer, have testified that supplying the NHS remains their top priority.
Moderna, however, said it remained open to “exploring the possibility and viability of providing COVID-19 vaccines to healthcare providers for private sales”.
Whether a person is given the Covid vaccine free on the NHS or by private sale, the jab will protect people against severe illness from Covid.
With winter approaching, and people spending more time indoors, there is a likelihood of more viruses spreading.
There can be a rise in the number of flu and Covid cases in the next few months, which is to be expected.
People can help protect themselves and others by adhering to good hand hygiene, staying home if ill, and being up-to-date with their Covid vaccinations.
As with all vaccinations, people administered the booster might experience temporary side effects such as fatigue and a tender upper arm.
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