Boris Johnson will address the nation this afternoon after a series of announcements about Covid-19 vaccinations.
The Prime Minister will be joined by chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance and the chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty for a 3pm press conference, a Downing Street spokesperson has said.
Earlier today, the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) gave the greenlight to extending the booster jab programme to healthy 40 to 49-year-olds – and rolling out second jabs for teenagers over the age of 16.
It came after the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) said that booster jabs provided more than 90% protection against symptomatic infection in adults aged over 50.
The Prime Minister has said that those who are still ending up in intensive care with coronavirus are “the unvaccinated” as he urged the public to take up the offer of a booster jab.
Speaking on a visit to a medical centre in east London, Boris Johnson said: “I think it’s very good news that the JCVI has today authorised the booster programme to be rolled out to everybody 40-plus, and when you look at what’s happening in the pandemic at the moment, just hearing in Newham sadly there are people in ITU, in intensive care, who are suffering badly from Covid, but they’re all the unvaccinated.
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“And what’s happening is if you can get your booster then your immunity goes right back up to 95%. So far we’ve got 75% of everybody over 70 getting a booster, there’s a huge number of people, but it’s that further 25% that will make all the difference to winter, to Christmas, to our plans going forward, because it’s that extra level of protection that we really need.
“So the message is: anybody over 70, come forward, get your booster; anybody over 50, come forward and get your booster, and now, in the next week or so, anybody over 40 as well, come forward and get your booster.”
“And we’re also doing a second dose for the 16 and 17-year-olds.”
Wales’ health minister Eluned Morgan said the country will follow the advice released by the JCVI on Monday to extend the booster vaccination programme to the over-40s and offer a second dose to 16 to 17-year-olds not in the “at risk” group.
Ms Morgan said: “I would like to thank the JCVI for their considerations and advice and for taking care to form a balanced view.
“Our intention, as it has been from the start of the pandemic, is to follow the clinical and scientific evidence and therefore we accept the JCVI’s advice.
“We will work with NHS Wales to take this advice forward and will keep members updated.”
Scroll down for updates from the press conference