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Bradshaw calls for flexibility on pre-Christmas boosters

Alliance Health spokesperson Paula Bradshaw MLA has called for flexibility on the six-month restriction on booster jabs, as people seek third doses prior to the Christmas season.

The South Belfast MLA said the option should be made open to all adults as soon as possible.

“There is increasing evidence from across Europe protection from full vaccination wanes from earlier than six months after the second dose, so there is no reason to be absolutely insistent on a gap of at least six months,” she said.

“This is particularly so when, for example, someone is assisting a family member attend a practice or a pharmacist for their booster jab. If one family member is at seven months and another at five-and-a-half, it would make sense in terms of efficiency and efficacy simply to offer the vaccine to both.

“The early results from the booster trials are extremely encouraging and it is essential we get as many people through the system before Christmas. For that reason, I hope the system will be opened up to all adults imminently, and will be made subject only to a recommended six-month gap between second and third dose with reasonable flexibility and common sense built in, to ensure as many people who want to get their booster before the end of the year can do so.”