Before the start of winter Pfizer jabs could be handed out to protect certain people as part of a booster programme.

Over-50s and those considered most vulnerable would be eligible for the third jab in a bid to boost protection against the virus to those who need it most.

According to plans laid out by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) over 70s, care home residents, the clinically vulnerable and front line NHS and care staff would be first in line for the booster.

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Over-50s and anyone entitled to a free flu jab would be next in line.

In reports by the Daily Telegraph the booster programme would start at the end of September with the expectation that all over-50s would have the third jab by Christmas.

It has also been suggested that people could be offered the Pfizer vaccine as a booster, regardless of whether they have previously received the Oxford AstraZeneca jab.

But No10 said reports in the Daily Mail that all patients will be offered Pfizer as it is the most effective against the Delta variant were "premature".

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Deputy Chief Medical Officer Professor Jonathan Van Tam said at the time: "We want to be on the front foot for COVID-19 booster vaccination to keep the probability of loss of vaccine protection due to waning immunity or variants as low as possible.

"Especially over the coming autumn and winter."

In June, Health Secretary, Sajid Javid, said: “We welcome this interim advice, which will help us ensure we are ready in our preparations for autumn. We look forward to receiving the committee’s final advice in due course.

"We need to learn to live with this virus. Our first COVID-19 vaccination programme is restoring freedom in this country, and our booster programme will protect this freedom.

"We are working with the NHS to make sure we can rapidly deliver this programme to maintain protection for people in the winter months."

Vaccine experts believe there is good evidence that jabs can offer protection against Covid for at least six months and will be studying the data to see if boosters are necessary.

The elderly and the most vulnerable received their vaccines earlier this year, meaning they could be in need of a booster if immunity does begin to wane.

More than 85 million Covid-19 vaccines have been administered in the UK - with more than 88% of adults having now had a first dose and more 72% getting both doses.