Brits having boosters DOUBLES in a week as more than 800,000 rush to jab centres on Friday amid Omicron fears

THE NUMBER of Brits receiving boosters has DOUBLED in a week amid the spread of the Omicron variant.

More than 800,000 people were jabbed on Friday alone – compared to just over 400,000 the previous week.

Yesterday cases of Covid-19 reached their highest daily total for a second day in a row.

A total of 88,376 new infections were reported and Omicron cases increased by 16 per cent with a further 1,691 being reported.

In order to curb infections and save Christmas, Brits have been urged to come forward and get their booster jabs either by booking on the NHS portal or by going to a walk-in centres.

The Sun is also urging readers to sign up to the Jabs Army campaign to make the rollout as smooth and fast as possible.

And yesterday Brits showed that they are listening to advice – with hundreds of thousands turning out to get their third jab.

In England 740,775 people received their booster, while in Scotland 59,782 people turned out, and in Wales 17,068 were jabbed.

Most read in Health


Plans being made for '2-week lockdown' but PM vows not to shut country down


UK daily omicron cases TREBLE with infections rising by more than 10,000


Brits warned ‘a test from yesterday is not enough’ amid Omicron chaos


Brits ‘could be BANNED from mixing indoors’ in lockdown plan as PM briefs Cabinet

Across the UK it was 817,625 third doses overall – compared to 409,760 on Friday December 10.

It comes as Boris Johnson is expected to hold an emergency Covid Cobra meeting this weekend as officials consider proposals for the circuit-breaker – which would reportedly include a ban on meeting friends and family inside.

Cabinet is expected to be briefed on the latest Covid data this afternoon, although not through a formal cabinet meeting, Sky News reports.

According to the broadcaster the idea of imminent restrictions is "being played down somewhat", although officials are "concerned about the data".

It comes after the PM last night vowed he would not shut the country down amid claims plans have been drawn up for the lockdown after the festive period.

He told the nation: "We are not closing things down."

Yet ministers are preparing draft plans that will prevent Brits meeting others indoors except for work purposes, The Times reports.

Pubs and restaurants would only be allowed to serve outdoors if the scheme is given the green light.

Other reports suggest Mr Johnson has been presented with a range of options for 'plan C', ranging from "mild guidance to nudge people, right through to lockdown".

Pessimistic Sage scientists have told the Government tougher measures will be needed "very soon".

But hospitality firms said any new restrictions would be a sledgehammer to the struggling industry at its busiest time of year.

Venues have already been forced to close their doors to the Christmas rush as workers fall ill and the super-strain grips cities.

Bosses said they have had "no option" but to close during a "double whammy" of sick staff and customers staying away over concerns their festive plans could be disrupted.

Another lockdown would be catastrophic for the the industry, with British Chambers of Commerce president Baroness Ruby McGregor-Smith warning: "Businesses now face the two-punch combination of serious issues with staff absence and plummeting consumer confidence."

Furious MPs have called on Rishi Sunak to cough up or see businesses go under.

Mr Sunak has returned earlier than planned from a work trip to California to hold crunch talks with hospitality bosses.

It comes as the PM told Brits to get their booster jabs as soon as they can, after long snaking queues were seen at vaccine centres across the country.

The Sun is also urging readers to sign up to the Jabs Army campaign to make the rollout as smooth and fast as possible.

Data proves the booster vaccine is the best protection against both infection and severe disease.

A new study has shown that a top-up dose will protect against severe disease, even if to a lower efficacy than against previous strains.

🔵 Read our Covid-19 live blog for the latest updates

Last night's gloomy claims of further restrictions come amid a huge surge of cases driven by Omicron.

A record 93,000 Brits were newly-infected with coronavirus on Friday.

Tens of thousands of Brits will be isolating this Christmas as a result of the spike.

Professor Neil Ferguson – dubbed 'Professor Lockdown' for his role in the first national shutdown last March – issued gloomy worst-case scenario predictions that there could soon be 4,000 deaths a day as a result of the variant.

Meanwhile, all close contacts of anyone specifically infected with Omicron must also isolate for 10 days – even if they're fully-vaccinated or under 18.

Mr Johnson says a "considerable wave" of cases is sweeping in – but stood firm on tougher rules this side of Christmas.

“I’ve said already that people should be cautious, but what we have also said is that people should decide what they want to do. It is a matter for their personal choice," he said.

“We are not closing things down but we do think people need to be cautious.”

It comes as:

  • Covid boosters slash the risk of falling ill with severe Omicron by 86 per cent, according to reports
  • An emergency Cobra meeting will take place this weekend as cases surge to record levels
  • Thousands of Brits have cancelled holiday breaks to Spain this Christmas
  • Christmas deliveries could be cancelled and shops may have to close early ahead of December 25
  • A GP has revealed symptoms of the strain no parent should ignore

However, he urged everyone to get their booster – and warned the mutation is "a very serious threat to us now".

On a visit to a vaccination centre in Hillingdon, West London, he said: "People have got to be prepared and they have got to understand what it entails."

And he said Brits must be "prudent".

"You need to think about your budget of risk," he said.

News that pubs and bars in Ireland will have to close at 8pm from Monday will doubtless have alarmed hospitality chiefs already facing huge pressure.

In brighter news, health chiefs in South Africa say Omicron has resulted in fewer hospitalisations and deaths than in previous waves.

The country did not got into lockdown when the variant was found.

Michelle Groome, the head of Public Health Surveillance at South Africa's National Institute for Communicable Diseases, said: “The hospitalisations are not increasing at such a dramatic rate.

“We are starting to see some increases, but relatively small increases in deaths.”

    Source: Read Full Article