This morning the Prime Minister said vaccine protection is “waning” and encouraged everyone eligible to book their booster jab as soon as possible. Speaking at Hexham General Hospital, he said: “Unfortunately, what you’ve got at the moment is a situation in which the waning of the original two jabs is starting to see too many elderly people going into hospital.”
Mr Johnson continued: “We’ve done 10 million boosters jabs already and it’s a very effective thing, it’s a wonderful thing.
“People get 95 percent more protection. So I’m encouraging everybody today to go online.
“If you’ve gone over five months, you can go online and book your jab.”
He added that getting vaccinated “is the most important thing we can do for our country today” in order to protect our NHS in “what promises to be a tough winter”.
His advice comes after a rule change that comes into effect today, as Mr Johnson brought forward the date people could book their booster vaccines from six months to five months after they had their second Covid jab.
Although patients can now book their jab at five months, they still cannot receive it until the six-month mark.
But with rising hospitalisations, should Boris move to bring forward the date you can actually receive your vaccine from six months to five months too? Vote now.
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Professor Peter Openshaw, chair of the New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group has told the Government that it has become clear immunity from vaccines is waning.
The Imperial College London professor told Times Radio: “We don’t know how long a vaccine is going to last until we’ve had sufficient time to watch the immunity drifting downwards and I think that’s something which has become very clear recently is that these vaccines don’t appear to be forever – they do provide a lot of protection, but they have to be boosted.”
“There’s an awful lot of COVID still around.
“At the moment we’re seeing admission rates running at something like 1,000 people per day and there’s currently over 1,000 people on mechanical ventilators in our hospitals.
“I just don’t think people realise the serious situation that there is out there in the National Health Service hospitals, with so many people on ventilators and over 9,000 people actually in the hospital currently with COVID-19.
“COVID isn’t done. It’s not over.”
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According to the Daily Mail, the Government is due to fall short of its target to offer boosters to the 32 million people whose second dose will be waning by Christmas Day.
At the current rate of about 300,000 doses a day, nearly 10 million of at-risk Britons will still be unprotected over the festive period.
Ministers are now under pressure to increase the number of third doses administered per day to 500,000.
Former vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi said the UK is aiming to undertake an annual booster campaign to be one of the first major economies in the world to do so.
Oxford University biologist Professor James Naismith told the BBC’s Radio 4 Today programme that booster jabs will help see coronavirus “fade into the background” as reinforced immunity will reduce hospitalisations and deaths, which currently stand at more than 1,000 a day and 1,000 a week respectively.
Are you concerned that the booster roll-out won’t be fast enough? Have your say in the comments section below.
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