Brits likely to need annual Covid vaccine just like flu jab, government warns

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The Health Secretary said it is "highly likely" Brits will need a coronavirus vaccine every year, just like the flu jab.

Matt Hancock told Sky News an annual vaccination against Covid may be necessary every year, especially in the over-65s, a high risk category.

Speaking to Sophy Ridge, he said the prospect of an annual dual-vaccination programme in the "foreseeable future" is highly likely.

He added that flu vaccination rates are at their highest level ever, with over 80% of the over-65s having been vaccinated against the flu.

The high vaccination levels are "very good news" for a potential Covid vaccination programme in the future as it shows "the vast, vast majority of over-65s are up for getting vaccinated."

Mr Hancock said: "I think it's highly likely that there will be a dual-vaccination programme for the foreseeable, this is the medium-term, of flu and Covid."

"Flu vaccination rates are at their highest level ever. Over 80% of the over-65s have been vaccinated for flu this year.

"That's the biggest increase, a jump on last year when it was around 70%. That's very good news. It's good news for two reasons.

"Firstly, to protect people against flu and secondly because it shows the vast, vast majority of over-65s are up for getting vaccinated."

The Health Secretary's comments come after the Pfizer/BioNtech vaccine was the first to be rolled out in the UK when the first person received it on December 8.

Oxford then pushed through to produce the AstraZeneca jab, with the Moderna vaccine approved later.

A "ramped up" vaccination effort is now under way with more than 1.3 million people in the UK receiving their first dose.

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  • Coronavirus

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