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29th Dec 2021

90% of intensive care patients are unboosted, Boris Johnson confirms

Steve Hopkins

The PM said 2.4 million eligible double-jabbed people are yet to take up the offer of a booster

Ninety percent of Covid patients in intensive care units have not had the booster jab, Boris Johnson has confirmed.

“I’m sorry to say this but the overwhelming majority of people who are currently ending up in intensive care in our hospitals are people who are not boosted,” the Prime Minister said during a visit to a vaccination centre in Milton Keynes on Wednesday.

Some 2.4 million eligible double-jabbed people are yet to take up the offer of a booster, Johnson said, noting that “the overwhelming majority” of those in a serious condition in hospital with Covid fall into this category, Sky News reported.

Research from the Intensive Care National Audit and Research Centre recently showed that most people in intensive care in London who had Covid last month had not been vaccinated, the broadcaster noted.

Johnson said: “If you’re not vaccinated, you’re eight times more likely to get into hospital altogether. So it’s a great thing to do. It’s very, very important. Get boosted for yourself, and enjoy New Year sensibly and cautiously.”

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The PM’s outing on Wednesday – to a vaccination centre the Mirror noted was just an hour’s drive from his country bolthole, Chequers, is the first time he has addressed the public since Christmas Eve.

Asked where he had been the PM replied: “I’ve been in this country. Why do you think…?”

The Mirror noted that Johnson has been very quiet on Covid in recent days and cataloged his recent appearances: On December 23 Johnson took part in a video call with his wife, Carrie, from Chequers; held a virtual Cabinet meeting on December 20 and visited police in his constituency on December 17.

The PM reiterated Wednesday that “everybody should enjoy New Year”, but do so with an open window, as Omicron cases continue to soar across the UK. He also defended his decision not to impose new rules in England, unlike the other three UK nations. Downing Street has not rules out imposing new restrictions after January 1.

Johnson urged people to ensure New Year’s Eve parties are well-ventilated, which can include opening a window or having them outside.

“I think everybody should enjoy New Year but in a cautious and sensible way.

“Take a test, ventilation, think about others – but above all, get a booster.”

Care Minister Gillian Keegan told Sky News on Tuesday that people in England should have New Year’s Eve parties outdoors.

“Do be cautious, take a lateral flow test before you go out, go to well-ventilated areas. I’ve been to a couple of outdoor parties actually, people have moved things to outside,” she said.

“So just be cautious, but do try to enjoy yourself as well – but cautiously.”