Professor Chris Whitty is reported to be supervising trials that will see everyone over 50 offered a third Covid vaccine jab.
The dose would come in the autumn and would be designed to suppress another winter wave of coronavirus - which could otherwise ruin Christmas 2021.
Trials are reported to be looking into new types of vaccine aimed at specific variants as well as how effective a third dose of vaccine will be.
So far across the UK, 35million people have had at least one dose of vaccine and 15.6million have had two doses.
The over-40s are now being offered a jab as the scheme is rolled out at speed.
The Times reports that as part of new trials the over-50s could be given a third course of the jab in the autumn to boost protection to the end of the year.
The paper said the third jab would
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