Broadening of the booster campaign and the offer of a second jab to older teenagers will “help extend our protection into 2022.”

 British Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned Monday of a “blizzard” of new coronavirus infections coming into the U.K. from continental Europe, as his government extended the vaccine booster program to younger people in an effort to bolster waning immunity levels during the winter months, AP reports.

With concerns mounting about a new wave of the pandemic in Europe, the independent body of scientists that makes vaccine recommendations to the British government said people aged 40 to 49 will also be eligible for a vaccine booster shot six months after their initial shot.

Up until now, people aged 50 and over, as well as those working in hospitals and care homes, and younger people deemed to be vulnerable, had been eligible for the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine boosters.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunization also said that second doses of the Pfizer vaccine have also been approved for 16 and 17-year-olds 12 weeks after their first. There has been no change in the advise for 12-15-year-olds, with the U.K. still only offering a single dose of vaccine.

It said the the broadening of the booster campaign and the offer of a second jab to older teenagers will “help extend our protection into 2022.”

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