Fourth dose of Covid-19 vaccine 'probably' needed for Scots

A fourth dose of the Covid-19 vaccine will “probably” be needed over the next few years, Scotland’s national clinical director has said.

A member of the Vaccination Team prepares a vaccine at the coronavirus mass vaccine centre at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre.
A member of the Vaccination Team prepares a vaccine at the coronavirus mass vaccine centre at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre.

Scots have been asked to get a third dose of the jab in a bid to stifle the new Omicron variant, with figures released on Thursday showing more than 70% of the population who will be eligible by the end of the year already having done so.

But Professor Jason Leitch has said there may be a need for at least some fourth doses to be administered.

Yearly boosters have been suggested as highly likely in order to tackle the possible annual threat posed by Covid-19 by public health experts.

Speaking on BBC Radio Scotland’s Good Morning Scotland programme on Friday, Prof Leitch said: “It would seem that we will probably need some kind of timed booster or next dose over the next few years.

Advertisement

Hide Ad

“We don’t know that for sure – it may be that we just offer that to the vulnerable, those who are maybe a bit older.”

He said immunity was “like a dimmer switch, not a light switch”, adding: “If you can turn the dimmer switch up and keep it up, then that’s what you want to do, because this disease is at its worst when it gets people without immunity.”

The immunity of some in the booster programme, which has been rolled out to all adults, will be monitored, Prof Leitch said, with the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) tasked with advising whether another dose is required.

A message from the Editor:

Advertisement

Hide Ad

Thank you for reading this article. We're more reliant on your support than ever as the shift in consumer habits brought about by coronavirus impacts our advertisers.

If you haven't already, please consider supporting our trusted, fact-checked journalism by taking out a digital subscription.

 0 comments

Want to join the conversation? Please or to comment on this article.