Health leaders across Britain have been urging those most vulnerable to get their third booster Covid vaccines as the winter draws nearer.

In the week when the booster jabs rollout was extended to all those aged 40 and above, has examined the latest data about the Covid vaccines and looked into just how effective these jabs are at protecting people from the virus and its potentially fatal consequences.

The UKHSA study suggested that protection against symptomatic infection for the over-50s was 93.1 % for the Oxford vaccine and 94.0 % for the Pfizer jab two weeks after a third dose of the vaccine.

The apparent waning in vaccine protection against cases may be reversing in the oldest cohorts.

London protest erupts as thousands flood Oxford St [ EXPLAINER ] Big surge in Coronavirus cases across EU [ ANALYSIS ] Vaccine hesitancy stood at four percent, according to the Office for National Statistics latest report published in August based on adults in Great Britain from June 23 to July 18.

Sajid Javid urged people aged 40 to 49 to come forward for their third dose of vaccine from Monday, as the offer of a booster is extended to them.

It said it would provide further advice in due course.

Vaccine effectiveness: Vaccine protection was lowest for groups between 38 and 41 weeks (Image: GETTY)

"We 've actually had some spread going on since the summer, and so I think it ’ s unlikely that we ’ re going to see the very sharp rise in the next few months that ’ s just been seen [ in continental Europe ] – we ’ re already ahead of that with this particular virus, the Delta variant."

Asked about the tougher restrictions being imposed in some countries, Javid acknowledged that the winter period was likely to be difficult, but said the government would stick to its "plan A" of increasing booster jabs.

Health Secretary Sajid Javid said : "Getting your COVID-19 booster vaccine is the best way to keep yourself and your loved ones safe this winter and will help reduce the pressure on the NHS.

"The most important thing we can do to stop a similar rise in this country is get the jab.

Vaccine effectiveness: How does protection change with the booster? (Image: GETTY)

"please get your vaccines as soon as you can so we can keep the virus at bay."

NHS England officials said the health service is ready to extend the availability of vaccines quickly when and if expert recommendations for who should receive them change, after a report suggested plans to give the Covid jab to children aged five to 11 could become reality next year.

If the MHRA were to extend the licence for younger children, the Joint Committee on Vaccines and Immunisation ( JCVI ) would advise the government on how to interpret such a guidance change before the vaccines would be rolled out.

The JCVI is yet to make a recommendation on second jabs for children in this age group who haven't been infected with the virus.

Vaccine effectiveness: The UKHSA head urged vulnerable people to come forward to get the jab (Image: GETTY)

This week, experts from the UK Health Security Agency said children aged 12 and over who have contracted the virus should not get a vaccine until 12 weeks later.

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