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With Covid-related hospitalisations beginning to rise the Health Secretary said the boosters will be dished out from Monday. They will also be available for care home residents and patients with weak immune systems from next week.

Mr Javid said that millions more may be eligible for top-up doses later this year, ahead of the country’s third Covid winter.

He told ITV there may be a “need to give a lot more people a boost” in the Autumn.

Experts have speculated another inoculation drive this year could be expanded to include over-50s, effectively covering the same groups who will be offered a free flu vaccine on the NHS.  

When asked if the booster drive would be widened to the general population, using eurax on face Mr Javid said: “I think at some point they will.”

He said the Government would follow the advice of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), a panel of influential scientists that have guided No10 through their historic inoculation campaigns.

Mr Javid added: “Their most recent advice is they think towards the end of this year, maybe in the autumn, there will be a need to give a lot more people a boost, an offer of a boost. But I’ll wait for that advice.”

The JCVI recommended last month that the spring vaccination programme should cover all over-75s, care home residents and immunocompromised over-12s, roughly 8million people.

It has now been six months since the rollout of third shots was launched, and England is yet to send out invites for the next part of the drive – despite Covid admissions and infections rising again.

Scotland embarked on its top-up campaign more than a week ago.

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