Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said the UK will have to “adjust” the definition of “fully vaccinated” to include three injections of the COVID vaccine.
In the UK, fully-vaccinated currently means two shots of a COVID vaccine, however, with the push for boosters, the Prime Minister said that definition requires adjusting.
“It’s very clear that getting three jabs, getting your booster, will become an important fact, and it will make life easier in all sorts of ways,” Johnson said during a press conference on Monday.
“We’ll have to adjust our concept of what constitutes a full vaccination to take account of that and I think that is increasingly obvious.”
Johnson went on to say, “The booster massively increases your protection – it takes it right back up to over 90%. 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 in the way we measure what constitutes fully vaccinated.”
The UK won’t be the only nation to redefine the term. From mid-December, France will require residents to prove they’ve had a third injection if they wish to access restaurants or travel long distances.
In Austria, Switzerland, and Croatia, expiration dates have been added to vaccination passports, requiring citizens to top-up at the end of each set period if they wish to continue their subscription to a public social life.
Australia has similarly signalled the introduction of additional vaccines, with Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews essentially saying vaccine certificates will be made redundant early next year with the introduction of booster passports.
In NSW, Deputy Premier Stuart Ayres suggested maintaining employment could be contingent on residents taking a third injection.
“If you want to stay in work, if you want your favour café or your favourite restaurant or your favourite pub to stay open, then you need to go and get your booster shot,” he said.
In Israel, the government announced last week that over four million Israelis have received a third dose of the vaccine, as preparations are underway to administer a fourth jab, according to the country’s top health official.
“We don’t know when it will happen; I hope very much that it won’t be within six months, like this time, and that the third does will last longer,” Health Ministry Director-General Nachman Ash said.
In early September, Israel’s national coronavirus czar Prof. Salman Zarka called for the country to begin making preparations to administer a fourth dose.
Zarka said, “It seems that if we learn the lessons from the fourth wave, we must consider the [possibility of subsequent] waves with the new variants, such as the new one from South America. And thinking about this and the waning of vaccines and their antibodies, it seems every few months – it could be once a year or five or six months – we’ll need another shot.”