Boris Johnson: all adults in England will be offered a booster by the end of December Bedford News

Boris Johnson addresses the public to provide an update on the Covid-19 recall program (Photo: Getty)

Boris Johnson has put forward the goal of giving every adult in England a one-month reminder amid growing concerns over a spate of Omicron cases that could cause “scores of deaths”.

In a pre-recorded address to the nation tonight (December 12), the Prime Minister said Britain “urgently needs to strengthen our vaccine protection wall” and called on everyone to “get stronger now”.

The prime minister said all eligible adults will be offered a vaccination booster by the end of December. The previous target was the end of January.

The effort to administer millions of vaccines by December 31 will involve 42 military planning teams deployed to each health region, supplemental vaccination sites and mobile units.

It will also see the extension of clinic hours to allow people to be bitten 24 hours a day and on weekends, and the training of thousands of other volunteer vaccinators.

The acceleration of the booster’s deployment is in response to concerns over a projected wave of Omicron cases, which could lead to thousands of deaths and more pressure on the NHS.

The announcement comes as the UK’s Covid Alert Level has been raised to Level 4, from 3, following a rapid increase in the number of registered Omicron cases.

What did Boris Johnson say?

The Prime Minister said: “We have already seen the number of hospitalizations double in one week in South Africa and we currently have patients with Omicron here in the UK.

“At this point, our scientists cannot say that Omicron is less severe.

“And even if that were true, we already know that it is so much more transmissible than a wave of Omicron through a population that has not been boosted would risk a level of hospitalization that could overwhelm our NHS and unfortunately lead to many deaths.

“So we have to act now. Today we are launching the Omicron national emergency recall mission, unlike anything we have done before in the immunization program, to be boosted now.

“Two weeks ago, I said we would offer every eligible adult a booster by the end of January. Today, in light of this Omicron emergency, I am pushing this goal forward by a whole month.

“Anyone who is eligible aged 18 and over in England will have the chance to get their recall before the New Year.”

The Prime Minister said the UK government would support decentralized administrations to “speed up” their own third jab deployments.

He revealed the decision to speed up the jab rate would mean some NHS appointments would have to be postponed until the New Year, arguing there would be ‘even bigger’ cancellations if the Omicron wave were allowed to increase.

In an appeal to GPs, doctors, nurses and others on the NHS frontline who he said had ‘worked incredibly hard’ throughout the pandemic, he said: ‘I have to ask you to do another extraordinary effort now, so that we can protect you, and your colleagues, and most importantly your patients from even greater pressures next year.

What did Keir Starmer say?

Sir Keir Starmer said the government had Labor support to speed up the recall program, as he urged the public to “protect our families, friends and the NHS” by getting a follow-up blow amid fears over the Omicron variant.

The Labor leader said: “The arrival of the disturbing new variant is a reminder that the pandemic is not over. And vaccines are the best weapon in our fight.

“The vaccine is safe and effective. It protects us and those around us. We will always support the NHS and act in the public interest.

“Therefore, the government has our support in the effort to accelerate the stimulus program. It is also essential that we take advantage of the Christmas holidays to have eligible children vaccinated. “

How did Nicola Sturgeon react?

Scotland will aim to offer booster shots to all eligible adults by the end of the year, but further restrictions may still be needed to tackle Omicron, said Nicola Sturgeon.

In a statement following Mr Johnson’s speech to the nation, the Scottish Prime Minister said urgent work was underway to ‘further accelerate the roll-out of the booster vaccination program in Scotland’.

She said her government’s goal is to offer a “reminder date for all eligible adults by the end of this year if possible”, with 30-39 year olds able to book from 10 a.m. Monday and 18-29 year olds later in the week.

The Prime Minister added: “Given the volume of cases expected in the coming weeks, it is also possible that additional and proportionate protective measures or advice may be required.”

Who is eligible for the recall now?

Any adult over 18 in England who received a second dose of a vaccine at least three months ago will be able to receive their booster from Monday, the Prime Minister said.

The NHS reservation system will be open for those under 30 from Wednesday, but ‘in some cases you can enter from tomorrow’.

The UK recorded 1,239 more confirmed cases of the Omicron mutation on Sunday, bringing the total number of cases to 3,137, a 65% increase from Saturday’s total of 1,898.

Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi said the actual number was likely 10 times higher.

This article originally appeared on our sister title, NationalWorld

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This notice was published: 2021-12-12 20:34:49

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