How to get booster shot in fight to stop Omicron variant – all you need to know


The Prime Minister told viewers the nation was facing an “emergency in our battle with the new variant” – and said that two jabs will not be enough to protect people

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Boris Johnson says Omicron to bring ‘tidal wave’ of cases

With Covid infections soaring and fears growing over the Omicron variant it was perhaps inevitable that tougher measures would be needed.

So i a televised address on Sunday evening Boris Johnson confirmed all adults in England will be able to get a Covid booster shot before the end of December.

The rapid acceleration of the mass inoculation project is down to rises in the Omicron variant and a battle to stop a ‘tidal wave’ of cases.

The Prime Minister told viewers the nation was facing an “emergency in our battle with the new variant” – and said that two jabs will not be enough to protect people.

He warned that Omicron could rip through an un-boosted population, overwhelming the NHS and leading to “very many deaths”.

The booster shot programme is set to be rapidly ramped up
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The Prime Minister said the nation “must urgently reinforce our wall of vaccine protection” to tackle the spread of Omicron.

He announced that the target to vaccinate all adults in England by the end of January will be brought forward by a month.

It came as the UK’s top medics upped the Covid alert level to Level 4 from Level 3, following a surge in cases.

The Chief Medical Officers said the emergence of the new variant “adds additional and rapidly increasing risk to the public and healthcare services”.

So how can you get your booster shot?

Bookings to get the third vaccine can be made through the National Booking System for all adults aged over 30 and then all over-18s from Wednesday.

There is also the option to use a pop-up or walk-in site and some walk-in appointments will be made available for over-18s as early as Monday, but this will vary between local area.

A full list of walk-in sites is available online here.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson recorded an address to the nation at Downing Street
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New vaccination sites are to be set up across the country including mobile pop up sites, and opening times will be extended to seven days a week with mornings, evening and weekend availability.

The government says if there are long queues at walk-in venues or all slots have been booked, people are asked to ‘be patient and keep trying,’ or to book online.

To get the third shot you must also have had had the second dose of a vaccine at least three months before.

What do the latest Covid figures tell us?

Government data reveals that in all there have been 10,819,515 positive cases across the UK, and 48,854 were recorded on Sunday.

There were a further 52 deaths tallied on Sunday, bringing the death toll to 146,439 for the disease.

The most recent data for hospitalisations show that on Monday December 6 839 new patients were admitted and as of Thursday December 9 there were 7,413 patients in hospital.

The latest data suggests Omicron is extremely transmissible and will become the dominant variant by mid-December. Cases are now doubling every 2 to 3 days.

Data published on Friday suggests that vaccine efficacy against symptomatic infection is substantially reduced against Omicron with just two doses, but a third dose boosts protection back up to over 70%.

What else is being done to tackle the surge?

England’s Plan B for Covid was announced by Boris Johnson last week in a bid to fight the latest surge.

As part of those measures people are urged to work from home, must wear face masks in more settings and produce the NHS Covid pass at larger events.

The government will also introduce daily tests for contacts instead of isolation and travellers coming to the UK must take another pre-departure test before they board their flight.

There are also warnings of a ‘Plan C’ which would involve more stringent measures if cases spiral out of control.

This might include masks being worn everywhere indoors, and vaccine passports and Covid Apps for pubs and restaurants as well as a return to table service only.

And according to Whitehall insiders an even more strict ‘Plan D’ is being considered which would mean all hospitality being only allowed to serve outdoors and the possible closure of pubs and restaurants putting the country into near lockdown.

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www.mirror.co.uk

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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