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12th Dec 2021

Covid: Booster jabs to be offered to all over-18s as PM declares Omicron ’emergency’

Daniel Brown

‘There is a tidal wave of Omicron coming’

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has stated that all people over the age of 18 will be offered a booster jab as he declares the Omicron variant an “emergency”.

The original target was to ensure that all adults were vaccinated by the end of January, however, Johnson has said that it will now be brought forward by a month.

As a result, the PM admitted that – in order to reach the new jab target – some medical appointments might have to be postponed in order to focus on boosters.

It is thought that some GPs are already permitted to cancel routine health checks to focus on vaccinations.

Johnson was speaking on Sunday evening when he delivered a Covid update, just hours after it was announced that the UK’s coronavirus alert level would be raised from level three to level four due to the spread of new Omicron variant.

“No one should be in any doubt, there is a tidal wave of Omicron coming,” Boris Johnson said in a TV statement.

He added: “I’m afraid we’re now facing an emergency in our battle with the new variant Omicron.”

“It is now clear that two doses of 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.”

The PM insisted that, at this point in time, scientists cannot say for definite whether Omicron is less severe than previous variants.

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

“And even if that proved to be true, we already know it is so much more transmissible that a wave of Omicron through a population that was not boosted would risk a level of hospitalisation that could overwhelm our NHS and lead sadly to very many deaths.”

The new target means that people aged 18 and over in England will be able to get their booster jab from next week – as long as it has been three months since their second dose.

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