Experts today claimed that Britain’s Covid booster vaccination drive is progressing quickly enough to keep winter cases under check, despite a flurry in requests to accelerate it.

Labour has again urged the Government to ‘turbo charge’ the NHS programme to 500,000 doses a day — nearly double the current average rate — to avoid hospitals becoming overrun this winter. 

And Health Secretary Sajid Javid — who has already warned Christmas curbs may be on the cards if uptake does not pick up — has repeatedly urged all eligible adults to come forward for their third jab.

But despite a slow start to the rollout beset by bureaucratic hurdles and slow uptake, NHS medics and volunteers are now dishing out an average of 1.9million booster doses every week in the UK — up from around 1.2million in the first week of October. 

SAGE advisers made unusually optimistic predictions that hospitalisations and cases would fall this winter even if the Government’s Plan B’ is implemented. If 1.3million boosters are distributed every week, it will be possible to implement the government’s ‘Plan B.  

MailOnline today received independent experts who said that the current pace for rollout should be sufficient in order to keep the virus at bay. 

MailOnline was told by Professor David Livermore (a microbiologist at University of East Anglia) that the rollout would reach most of the country’s most vulnerable adults in December at the current pace.

He said, “Any suggestion that Plan B should be moved to due to the slow rollout should be strongly resisted.”

At the current rate of 1.9million boosters a week, 23million people will have had their booster shot by Christmas Day — nearly three quarters of all 32million eligible adults. 

Officials warn against complacency and urge Brits to book booster jabs as soon possible to ensure that the rollout continues on track. 

NHS medics and volunteers are now dishing out an average of 1.9million booster doses a week in the UK, up from around 1.2million in the first week of October

NHS volunteers and medics now give out an average of 1.9million doses of booster doses per week in the UK. This is up from the 1.2million they gave in the first week.

Models by SAGE suggest a weekly rollout of 1.3million would be enough to keep hospitalisation numbers below the April 2020 first peak when they are expected to increase next spring, even with normal mixing this Christmas under no restrictions (top left)

SAGE models suggest that a weekly 1.3million hospitalization rollout would be sufficient to keep them below the April 2020 first peak. Next spring they are expected increase, even with normal mixing this Christmas without restrictions (top left).

Modelling by SAGE predicted that the combination of vaccine-acquired immunity and natural protection would be enough to keep hospital rates below levels seen in the second wave. Even in the most pessimistic scenarios, the group estimated that daily Covid hospital admissions would not rise above 1,500. More optimistic models had them peaking at below 1,000 in winter. The above charts are based on modelling by Warwick University and look at how quickly people go back to pre-pandemic social contacts. It was based on the booster doses given 'sustained' immunity

SAGE models predicted that the combination vaccination-acquired immunity, natural protection would suffice to keep hospital rates below the levels of the second wave. Even in the most pessimistic scenarios of the group, they estimated that daily Covid hospital visits would not rise above 1,500. They would be below 1,000 in winter, according to more optimistic models. These charts were based on Warwick University modeling and show how quickly people return to pre-pandemic social contacts. It was based on booster doses of’sustained immune system’.

There is no evidence that vaccine passports in Scotland work to reduce Covid rates. 

The country’s deputy first minister said today that there is no way to determine if the coronavirus vaccination passport scheme in Scotland is working.

John Swinney is also Covid recovery Secretary and said that there is no evidence to support the Government’s claim that the measure reduces coronavirus spread or encourages people who are vaccinated to get them vaccinated.

Swinney stated that it was impossible to segment data on coronavirus data to determine if it is working. However, he believes it is providing a positive benefit to the suppression.

Adults in Scotland have been required to prove that they have been double-vaccinated since October 18th to be allowed to enter nightclubs and attend large events. Legal enforcement will take effect on October 18.

According to the Scottish Government, the certification scheme is intended to increase vaccination rates, reduce the spread of the virus, and allow high-risk venues to stay open.

Holyrood’s Covid-19 Committee heard from Mr Swinney that the proportion of 18-to 29-year olds who received both vaccinations rose from 64% on October 1st, to 68% by November 1, and described it as an ‘important increase in the level vaccine’.

He said, “We have cases at an too high level, so we are trying to make sure that our objectives of enabling as many of the economy and society to recover from Covid-19, but also to suppress the virus, are met.”

“Obviously there may be an impact upon night-time industries as well as a consequence, but it could have an even greater impact on closure and that’s exactly what we’re trying avoid with the measures we’re taking.”

When asked about the criteria for ending the scheme, Mr Swinney stated that they have to review it on a 3-weekly basis to ensure that it remains proportionate. This is an issue that we are still reviewing.

He also warned that the Scottish government is considering adding restrictions to prevent the virus from spreading further.

MSPs were informed by Mr Swinney: “If the hospital case numbers and hospital numbers get worse, then it is time to evaluate whether the baseline measurements are accurate.”

“So in the interests of absolute candour, there is the potential that baseline measurements could be relaxed, and there is also a possibility that baseline measurements could be expanded.

The ‘Covid certification’ could be extended to other industries, or it could not play a role in our measures. However, this will depend on our judgement of proportionality.

‘If we find ourselves in the next few weeks with a rising prevalence of the virus and greater pressure on the National Health Service than we are already experiencing – and the NHS is under absolutely colossal pressure – we might have to take stronger measures, which might apply greater mandatory enforcement.’

Swinney also suggested to Swinney that people who are not willing to be vaccinated talk to people whose loved one have been affected by the virus.

He reflected on a meeting earlier this week with families making representations about a forthcoming Covid investigation and said: “We should actually get people that are vaccine-hesitant and sit down and have a discussion with the bereaved family members who’ve lost loved one in care homes, let them listen to it.

“Because, I’m saying, I sit through many difficult conversations in my role of a minister, and that was a hard one on Tuesday, believe me, so maybe people should listen to that.”

MailOnline was told by Professor Livermore: “Around seven to eight millions of the approximately 12 to 13 million.” [currently]The UK has provided boosters to eligible individuals who were eligible. I don’t see any reason for concern.

“Scotland, Wales and the United Kingdom are in Plan B with continuing mask mandates and Covid passports for nightclubs. Their Covid rates are not different from England’s, which has these restrictions.

He stated, “This strongly suggests that Plan B amounts inconveniencing people to no useful effect.”  

Booster jabs for people over 50, those with a medical condition or who have received their second dose less than six months ago are now available. 

The UK has already seen an increase in the number of cases, with older age groups seeing a decrease. Experts expect that death and hospitalisations will increase if this trend continues.

Professor Paul Hunter, a University of East Anglia infectious disease expert, said that he is happy that the NHS has now taken over the programme following a slow initial rollout.

MailOnline was informed by him that he believes the booster dose is extraordinarily effective in preventing symptomatic infections, hospitalisations and death. This is in addition to the protection provided by the earlier two-dose schedule. 

“So for each booster dose given that will lower risk to the individual, and reduce pressure upon the NHS.

“The campaign’s start was slower than we would prefer, but it appears to have picked-up a bit recently. 

Booster doses are generally slower than the first course because people feel less afraid about the disease. 

“The UK must make it as easy as possible for people to get their booster doses, manage the system to avoid long lines and get the message across strongly.

Adults who are eligible can now book their booster appointments up to five months after their second dose. This means that they can get the third jab exactly six years after their last.

The Government uses models to guide its policy. They predict that hospital admissions will not fall below the April 2020 peak or January 2020 peak, even in the most pessimistic scenario. As long as the booster programme is maintained at 1.3million, they will not drop below this level. 

SAGE member Professor John Edmunds — one of the scientists behind the models — said the slow increase in hospitalisations could be ‘plugged’ by the booster programme.

The models show admissions declining over Christmas, before showing a slight increase in spring. This is dependent on how long-lasting the boosters are.  

MailOnline was told by he: “Many of the models suggest there may be a higher number of cases in spring. It is because of the waning immunity in older individuals and gradual return to normality. 

“The booster program fills that gap. If you look at the document that we submitted a few weeks ago, we also looked at boosting everyone — well 90 per cent of them — six months after their second dose, rather than just those over 50. 

“Our model suggested it would make an enormous difference and could avert (or delay) any further upswing.” 

Despite reasons to be optimistic, MPs are still calling for the rollout speeded up.

Rosena Allin Khan, Labour’s shadow health minister, said to the Commons that the Government had ‘just not got a handle on Covid going in the busiest season of our NHS’. This was despite having the winter plan B. She also suggested that the UK should turbo charge vaccine boosters.

Dr Allin-Khan, who is also a doctor at St George’s Hospital, said: ‘On current trends we won’t complete the booster programme until spring 2022. The Government should get on top of things and aim to provide 500,000 boosters each day. The current figures are below 300,000. 

People who need booster jabs are advised to travel 128 miles round trip by car to the clinic.

People who require booster jabs are told to go to a clinic “seven-miles away”, but only via a 128 mile round trip.

The NHS advised residents of the Isle of Sheppey in Kent to travel to Southend, Essex for their third dose of Covid.

Southend is just seven miles away from London, but the Thames Estuary runs between the two counties.

Most people can only get to the other side by taking the Dartford Crossing road trip, which takes approximately 90 minutes and covers 64 miles.

John Twiselton, 73 years old, stated that the distances between vaccination centers and their locations are calculated as if the “crow flew”. This is why Southend is listed.

“I feel sorry that people on the island don’t have access to car transport to reach the Medway Towns, Canterbury or the other islands. There is something wrong in the distribution system.

Mr Twiselton, of Minster on the Isle of Sheppey, said: ‘I was in touch with my surgery and they didn’t have a clue when it would get more vaccine.

Kwasi Kwarteng, secretary of state for business, energy and industrial strategy, is absurd in urging people to get their booster shots when there aren’t enough facilities nearby.

‘Leysdown will offer vaccinations in November at the earliest. No other Swale location offers booster vaccination dates.

“There are many options in Medway and Canterbury for boosters. You can get your booster anytime of the day. Southend is also eligible for the booster.

She also spoke about problems with current vaccine rollout, saying that local residents are contacting her to tell us they can’t get boosters. 

“One elderly lady in her 70s with underlying health issues called 119 to find out she was not eligible for a booster. 

“She finally booked one for December, but she had to rely upon her daughter to book it for her because she doesn’t use the internet. The system doesn’t work.

She said that the Government had given a November 1 deadline to give booster jabs to all residents of care homes. 

“Right now, only 23 percent of Leicester’s care home residents have had their booster jab. The picture across the country is extremely patchy.”

Maggie Throup, the vaccines minister, called the Commons to make the call. She told the Commons that more than 650,000 children aged 12-15 years old have received a Covid jab and that eight million people across the UK have received a booster.

Ms Throup stated that more than 650,000 12- to 15-year olds had been vaccinated’since September’.

“We are also rapidly launching our booster programme to give people maximum protection over winter and reduce pressures on NHS,” she added. Eight million people in the UK have now received the vital protection that a booster dose provides.

Ms. Throup also discussed the effort to provide flu jabs to people who had low levels of the virus’s circulation last year because of lockdown.

She stated, “As a consequence, we may see lower levels population immunity against flu and more strains of influenza in circulation this winter.”

“To combat this, a record 35.5 million people are eligible for a free flu shot this year. This gives us another way to keep our country safe.

Conservative former health secretary Jeremy Hunt pressed the Government on vaccinating teenagers, saying: ‘One of the reasons… why we are behind other European countries when it comes to vaccinating teenagers is because the JCVI (Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation) didn’t give its decision until September, whereas France was able to start vaccinating before the summer holiday.’

Ms Throup was also questioned about mandatory jabs. Mr Hunt said he would support it ‘if the Government brought the measure to the House.

Sajid Javid, Health Secretary, made an announcement that mandatory vaccinations will be made for NHS workers in the future.