Monday morning UK news briefing: Covid booster jabs start next month

·6-min read
Monday morning UK news briefing
Monday morning UK news briefing

Roll up for the rollout. Booster vaccines are to be offered to 32 million Britons starting early next month.

Amid fears that the efficacy of the Covid vaccines may begin to decline, The Telegraph can disclose ministers are planning to deliver an average of almost 2.5m third doses a week starting in the first week of September.

Pharmacies will be at the forefront of the vaccine programme so that GPs and other NHS staff can focus on the growing backlog of patients waiting for other treatments.

All adults aged 50 and over, as well as the immunosuppressed, will be offered the booster jabs. The campaign could start as soon as Sept 6, which would lead to the rollout being completed by early December if it goes to plan.

Deputy Political Editor Lucy Fisher writes that proposals have been drawn up for the Covid-19 vaccine to be co-administered alongside the flu jab, with one injection in each arm mooted.

A patient receives a dose of the Pfizer vaccine at the Central Middlesex Hospital yesterday - Reuters
A patient receives a dose of the Pfizer vaccine at the Central Middlesex Hospital yesterday - Reuters

Meanwhile, Boris Johnson is under growing pressure from the Cabinet to ease travel restrictions - amid fears an amber watchlist for European countries could wreck summer holidays.

The Government is due to update the traffic light list on Thursday, setting the rules for August.

Seventeen countries could join the green list. But there are threats to create a new category that could see nations moved at short notice to red, which entails 10 days' hotel quarantine upon return to the UK.

Under a new rule that came into effect at 4am today, double-jabbed US and EU travellers do not need to quarantine on arrival into England.

See a simple guide to which countries are open to UK travellers.

PS: Stay updated with the latest from our journalists with this special offer: Try a Telegraph subscription for just £1 in total for three months.

Samaritans volunteers 'had sex with vulnerable callers'

Samaritans volunteers abused their position of trust by having sex with vulnerable callers, The Telegraph understands, prompting the charity to "listen in" to conversations for the first time. It is believed to include volunteers meeting callers for inappropriate relationships. There is understood to have been a "specific demographic" of some "middle-aged men" who were abusing female callers. The incidents prompted a mass overhaul of policies announced to local branches of the charity, which provides a helpline service for people in emotional distress.

Do 'rainbow babies' like Carrie's help deal with loss?

In announcing her latest pregnancy, the Prime Minister's wife Carrie Johnson dubbed it a "rainbow" baby after having experienced a miscarriage earlier this year. Marina Fogle, who is "thankful every day for the army of honest women like Carrie who share their stories", writes what it feels like to have a baby after a loss - and asks if the term helps.

Today's political cartoon

View Blower's latest cartoon on plans to boost youth jabs with shopping vouchers. (Matt is back in this slot tomorrow).

Also in the news: Today's other headlines

Drone strike | Britain promised to retaliate as it accused Iran of launching an "unlawful and callous" drone attack on an oil tanker, killing a British citizen. Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said the UK was drawing up a "concerted response” for the assault off Oman. Iran's ambassador to the UK is due to be summoned to the Foreign Office today.

Around the world: Wildfires force 1,000 to flee by boat

More than 1,000 holidaymakers and residents were evacuated from the tourist hotspot of Bodrum as Turkey struggled to contain the wildfires that have raged across the country's Mediterranean towns. Videos showed tourists hurrying towards the beach to be evacuated by boat as the sky was engulfed in deeper shades of orange and smoke pummelled towards them. View a gallery of more world pictures from the weekend.

Comment and analysis

Editor's choice

  1. Bill Bailey | 'My worst celebrity encounter was when I spoke jibberish to Paul McCartney'

  2. Building new bonds | Lonely after lockdown? How to make new friends in mid-life

  3. Growing up with cartoonist Matt | 'He pretended to be a robot, then tried to kill me'

Business and money briefing

Economy | The "triple lock" on state pension increases may be paused for a year to create a "double lock" to prevent an outsized boost as a result of the pandemic. It is understood Chancellor Rishi Sunak is considering breaking the link between the annual rise and average wages, amid concern the economic rebound could lead to a bill of £7 billion.

Sport briefing

Olympics | Team GB's Laura Muir made a serene start to her quest to win an elusive Olympic medal overnight by easing through her 1,500 metres heat, but there was huge drama when gold-medal favourite Sifan Hassan - who is attempting an unprecedented 1,500/5,000/10,000m treble in Tokyo - had to recover from a fall to win her race. A busy day ahead sees the start of track cycling, with Briton Laura Kenny defending her title. For daily analysis, try our free Olympics Briefing newsletter.

Tonight's dinner

Pasta with pistachio and ricotta pesto | A delicious twist by Diana Henry on a pasta sauce, using nuts, spring onions and ricotta. View the recipe and try our Cookbook newsletter.

And finally... for this morning's downtime

Less common backache | If you are pain-free when resting but have cramping after a short walk, you might have restricted blood flow. James Le Fanu explains what can be done to fix it.

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