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Boris Johnson to publish winter Covid battle plan including vaccine passports

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Boris Johnson is set to publish a Covid battle plan to deal with a “difficult time” with the virus this winter.

Among the measures likely to be included are jabs for younger teenagers, a booster programme, flu shots and vaccine passports.

The government is expected to take a cautious approach with more than 8,000 Covid patients in hospital in the UK, despite the vaccination programme.

The Prime Minister is seeking to avoid controversial lockdowns after some scientists warned a “firebreak” could be needed this autumn.

The Covid blueprint for England is expected to come in tandem with announcements from the Joint Committee on Vaccinations and Immunisation (JCVI) on booster jabs and from the chief medical officers on the vaccination of schoolchildren aged 12-15.

He is expected to emphasise it is time to “learn to live with Covid forever” as the plan is revealed.

However, the Coronavirus Act 2020 – which gives the government emergency powers to impose more restrictions – will be renewed as a precaution for six months sparking fears of a winter lockdown.

The legislation gives authorities and police powers to regulate public gatherings, close premises, and force people to self-isolate.

They also include powers for the Health Secretary to shut down individual events, gatherings, shops or restaurants if they pose a particular risk.

Number 10 has hopes the flu jab rollout will take away from the mounting pressure on the NHS.

The JCVI is understood to be in favour of an autumn programme of booster jabs.

The panel was on Thursday shown interim findings of the Cov-Boost study.

It studied the efficacy of vaccines given as a third dose to people who had previously been administered with two AstraZeneca or Pfizer jabs.

The JCVI had already approved third injections for about 500,000 clinically very vulnerable adults and older children.

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