Nov 22, 2021 - Health

U.K. extends COVID booster shots to over-40s

Health Secretary Sajid Javid during a visit to a pop-up vaccination site at Little Venice Sports Centre in west London. Picture date: Wednesday July 28.
Health Secretary Sajid Javid (C) visiting to a pop-up vaccination site in west London in July. Photo: Dominic Lipinski/PA Images via Getty Images

The U.K. government is expanding its COVID-19 vaccine booster program in an attempt to avoid following other European countries in imposing restrictions to counter coronavirus surges, per Bloomberg.

What's happening: Health Secretary Sajid Javid said that everyone over the age of 40 could get a booster shot from Monday.

The big picture: Germany, Austria and the Netherlands have in recent weeks implemented restrictions on citizens, as Western Europe faces a new wave of coronavirus infections.

What they're saying: "It's very sad to see cases rising, surging, in certain parts of Europe," Javid said during a Sky News interview Sunday.

  • "What’s made a real difference here in the U.K. is our booster program," Javid added.

By the numbers: 15 million people have had a third dose of the vaccine in the U.K., Javid said in a statement Sunday.

  • U.K. COVID-19 cases in the seven days to Sunday rose 9.4% compared to the previous week, but the coronavirus death toll and hospitalizations have both dropped, per Public Health England.
  • The total number of deaths within 28 days of a positive test reported in this seven-day period stands at 1,029, down 5.9% compared to the previous week.
  • 6,087 people were hospitalized in the seven days to Sunday, down 4.7%.
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