The UK’s Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) on Thursday granted emergency approval for the Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines to be used as a third booster shots amid concerns over declining immunity protection.
“We are committed to getting safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines to the UK public. This means ensuring that existing COVID-19 vaccines can continue to be used in the most effective way possible,” Dr. June Raine, MHRA chief executive said, in a statement.
“We know that a person’s immunity may decline over time after their first vaccine course. I am pleased to confirm that the COVID-19 vaccines made by Pfizer and AstraZeneca can be used as safe and effective booster doses. This is an important regulatory change as it gives further options for the vaccination programme, which has saved thousands of lives so far,” Raine added.
The announcement by the MHRA was made following a trial, the COV-Boost study, of booster jabs which analyzes the impact of one of seven various vaccines as a possible third jab, on top of either the Pfizer and AstraZeneca shots.
At least 38,013 people tested positive for the virus on Thursday, and in the week beginning Sept. 3, 272,334 people had a confirmed positive test result, up 15.3% from the previous week.
Some 167 deaths were also reported on Thursday and on Sept. 3-9, there were 922 deaths – up 18.5% compared to the previous seven days.
The number of vaccinations continues as more than half of the population have now received two doses of the vaccine. By the end of Sept. 8, over 48 million people had gotten their first dose of the vaccine and over 43 million people their second.