Booster jabs to be added to NHS Covid pass and top-up dose could grow to mean ‘fully vaccinated’

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A Covid-19 booster jab is administered at Croydon University Hospital, south London (Dominic Lipinski/PA)
A Covid-19 booster jab is administered at Croydon University Hospital, south London (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

Booster jabs will be added to the NHS Covid pass and a top-up dose could become part of the definition of someone being fully vaccinated, Boris Johnson has indicated.

The prime minister said getting three jabs “will make life easier” including when it comes to travel abroad.

Currently, the NHS Covid pass in England lets someone show the details of their coronavirus vaccine status domestically and when travelling abroad to some countries or territories.

It was announced on Monday that the booster programme will be extended to include people aged 40 and over.

Mr Johnson said getting a top-up jab “will become an important fact”, in light of research showing waning immunity after two doses.

He told a Downing Street press conference: “I think that we will be making plans to add the booster dose to the NHS Covid travel pass.

“But again, I think what the general lesson is for anybody who wants to travel, you can see that getting fully vaccinated with a booster is going to be something that will, on the whole, make your life easier in all kinds of ways including foreign travel.

“So I would just say, if you’re thinking about that, that this is yet another reason to get it done.”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson meets Arzou Miah, who receives his booster jab (Jeremy Selwyn/Evening Standard/PA)
Prime Minister Boris Johnson meets Arzou Miah, who receives his booster jab (Jeremy Selwyn/Evening Standard/PA)

He added: “It’s very clear that getting three jabs, getting your booster, will become an important fact and it will make life easier for you in all sorts of ways and we will have to adjust our concept of what constitutes a full vaccination to take account of that and I think that is increasingly obvious.

“The booster massively increases your protection. It takes it right back up to over 90%.

“And as we can see from what’s happening, the two jabs sadly do start to wane. So we’ve got to be responsible, and we’ve got to reflect that fact in the way we measure what constitutes full vaccination.”

Rory Boland, Which? travel editor, said it’s “welcome news” that the government is looking to add evidence of booster vaccinations to the NHS app.

“This issue has some urgency as other countries have already introduced the requirement to have had a booster jab as they limit the validity of vaccines.

“But with UK residents currently unable to provide evidence that they have done so they risk being turned away from the plane on their next trip.

“Until booster jabs are added to vaccine certificates on the NHS app, you should carefully check the requirements of the country you’re planning on visiting before booking.

“Booking a package holiday with a tour provider that has a good flexible booking policy will help protect your money if restrictions change at the last minute.”

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