Boris Johnson has set a target for the NHS to offer a booster vaccine to every eligible person by 2015.
In his address to the nation Boris Johnson today said he would rapidly speed up the UK’s booster jab rollout amid an emerging ‘tidal wave of Omicron’ by bringing forward his end of January target for every adult to be offered a jab by one month.
The Prime Minister stated that any adult aged over 18 and who had received the second dose at least three month ago will be eligible to get a shot starting tomorrow.
Launching what he described as the ‘Omicron Emergency Boost’, Mr Johnson said that in order to deliver the necessary jabs by the end of the year ‘we’ll need to match the NHS’s best vaccination day yet – and then beat it day after day’.
This means that the rollout must administer approximately 1.1 million jabs per day, and will not be able to take any day off during Christmas to meet the PM’s target for the end of the year when the NHS Booking System opens.
The figures show that 23,124,829 people – or 40.2 percent of all those aged 12 years and older in the UK – have received booster shots.
A jab is now available to anyone over the age of 18 who had received a dose of the vaccine more than three months prior, according to Prime Minister.
Crowds assemble outside the Covid-19 vaccination bus, Sloane Square in London to get a booster jab.
After the UK had reported 1,239 additional confirmed Omicron cases, the UK Covid alert level has been raised to level 4.
On September 11, 44million second doses were administered – leaving 20.9million eligible for a booster.
On Saturday, there were also a staggering 530,086 booster jabs administered, the second-highest number of boosters given after November 10 when 532,238 were delivered.
However, the government still needs half as much to achieve their record number.
The Prime Minister addressed the nation during his speech. According to the UK, the UK faced an emergency with the “new variant” and that it needed to urgently strengthen its vaccine protection in order for loved ones and our friends to be safe.
The PM said the data was now clear that two doses of the vaccine are ‘simply not enough to give the level of protection we all need’ but the ‘good news is that our scientists are confident that with a third dose – a booster dose – we can all bring our level of protection back up’.
This will take a ‘extraordinary effort,’ he said. He also revealed that some appointments with doctors will need to be delayed until 2022 in order for clinicians to commit to giving jabs.
Mr Johnson said: ‘A fortnight ago I said we would offer every eligible adult a booster by the end of January. Amid the Omicron crisis, today I will bring that month forward.
“Everyone over the age of 18 in England is eligible to have their booster prior the new year.
“And we have spoken to the devolved authorities to confirm that the UK government will offer additional support for Scotland’s vaccinations. Wales and Northern Ireland
‘To hit the pace we need, we’ll need to match the NHS’s best vaccination day yet – and then beat it day after day.
“This will be an enormous effort. We will focus our efforts on boosters in order to reach this goal. It will also mean other appointments will have their appointment delayed until next year.
‘But if we don’t do this now, the wave of Omicron could be so big that cancellations and disruptions, like the loss of cancer appointments, would be even greater next year. And I know the pressures on everyone in our NHS – from our GPs, doctors and nurses to our porters – all of whom have worked incredibly hard and we thank them for the amazing job they have done.
‘But I say directly to those of you on the front line, I must ask you to make another extraordinary effort now, so we can protect you and your colleagues – and above all your patients – from even greater pressures next year.
“So we’re opening the booster up to all adults over 18 who have had at least one dose of vaccine within the last three months.
On Wednesday, the official NHS Booking System will open to younger age groups. However, Johnson indicated that you could still walk in some areas from tomorrow.
Johnson stated that the UK was facing an emergency with its battle against the new variant and that it must strengthen its vaccine protection wall to ensure the safety of our loved ones and friends.
He explained that vaccines are the best way to beat Covid.
“The UK was the first nation to give a vaccine. It also launched the most efficient rollout in Europe. The UK’s booster campaign started yesterday with more than half a million jabs.
These achievements were possible because of the incredible efforts of the NHS. Thousands of volunteers vaccinators and GPs have saved literally countless lives.
‘But I need to speak to you this evening because I’m afraid we’re now facing an emergency in our battle with the new variant Omicron and we must urgently reinforce our wall of vaccine protection to keep our friends and loved ones safe. ‘
Mr Johnson went on to say that that UK’s four chief medical officers had now raised the Covid alert level to four – it’s second highest level- because of the evidence that Omicron is doubling in the UK every two to three days.
Today, there is a long line of people waiting outside Northumbria University’s Coach Lane Campus NHS Vaccination Centre for their booster jabs
According to figures, 23,1248,829 people – or 40.2 percent of all those aged 12 years and older in the UK – have received booster shots.
“We have seen these exponential curves grow from our bitter experiences,” he said. There is no doubt that Omicron is coming. I fear it now is clear that only two doses are enough to provide the protection needed.
“But the good thing is that scientists feel confident that we can all raise our levels of protection with a third dosage – a booster dosis.
“I’m sure there will be people looking at this who are wondering if Omicron has a lower severity than other variants, and if we need that booster. The answer to their question is yes.
Do not think Omicron will cause you harm, or make your loved ones sick.
“At this time our scientists are unable to say that Omicron has a lower severity. Even if it were true, we already know that Omicron can be transmitted to large numbers of people. This could lead to an overcrowding of our NHS and sadly to many deaths.
Johnson revealed that 42 military planning groups will be deployed in every part of the UK, while more vaccine sites and mobile units are also being set up. Clinics will have extended hours and will now be open seven days per week.
The address to the nation came after the UK Covid alert level was raised following a rapid increase in the number of Omicron cases being recorded.
The country’s four chief medical officers and NHS England’s national medical director recommended to ministers that the UK go up to Level 4 from Level 3 after a further 1,239 confirmed cases of the mutant strain were recorded across the country as of Sunday.
That brings the total number of UK cases of Omicron to 3,137, a 65 per cent increase from Saturday’s total of 1,898 cases.
One step below Level 5, Level 4, is the least severe. Coronavirus is Level 4. Is ‘in general circulation, transmission is high, and direct Covid-19 stress on healthcare services are widespread and substantial or increasing’.
Nadhim Zhawi, education secretary, announced this morning that Omicron is being treated in UK hospital. But health leaders said there was yet to confirm a Omicron-linked death.