UK government sets new booster target

pharmafile | December 13, 2021 | News story | Sales and Marketing  

The PM has announced that booster jabs will be offered to everyone over 18 in England from this week, and has declared an “Omicron emergency”. Boris Johnson added that “there is a tidal wave of Omicron coming”.

Health Secretary Sajid Javid confirmed that ten people in England are now in hospital with Omicron. Non-urgent appointments are being postponed to aid the booster rollout, and to meet the target of delivering one million jabs by the end of the year.

This expansion of the booster programme is unprecedented, and Scotland’s health secretary, Humza Yousaf, has warned that it will be “extremely challenging” to hit the new target, confirming that there would be new controls to help prevent the spread of Omicron. Yousaf said that the health service would need to draft in medical students, army personnel, and private contractors, and move NHS staff from normal duties, to meet the new target.

Yousaf told BBC Radio Scotland, “It will be extremely challenging, and that’s why we’re going to have to strain every sinew we can, and that includes potentially having to move NHS staff away from other core duties to do this.”

The NHS has reminded those under 30 to not book their boosters yet, as the COVID-19 vaccine booking service is currently facing extremely high demand. Bookings for users aged 18-29 can book their boosters from Wednesday 15 December.

Early data shows that receiving a third dose of the vaccine gives an individual around 70-75% protection against symptomatic infection from Omicron.

Lina Adams

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