Official figures show millions of eligible people in England have not received the Covid booster – despite the Prime Minister’s insistence on achieving the third dose target.
Boris Johnson boasted today that the government has achieved its goal of introducing an additional vaccine for all adults by the new year.
But vaccination numbers show that by the end of September 9.5 million people who had had a double-whammy – and were therefore now eligible for their third dose – had not yet received a booster dose.
Johnson told the nation in a telecast earlier this month that all eligible adults in England ‘will have the opportunity to get a boost before the New Year’.
Number 10 and the NHS later clarified that their goal is to invite eligible Britons to get a vaccine before the end of the year, rather than provide those doses.
But vaccinations are the government’s master plan to suppress hospitalizations and deaths during the ongoing Omicron wave, prevent the NHS from inundating and avoid further restrictions.
NHS chiefs said that while it was encouraging to see people applying for their vaccinations, some vaccination clinics were only a third full as cases of the Omicron variant continued to rise rapidly.
The country’s chief medical officer said rollout of the vaccine has been “too slow” over the holiday period, which has been “disappointing for staff”.
The British used Twitter to say the goal had been achieved only because the wording was that adults would be offered a “booster dose”.
Boris Johnson last night urged everyone to make a New Year’s resolution to help keep the nation free from lockdown
More than 28 million people in England had had their booster shot by December 29, but 9.4 million people who were eligible by that date had not yet had an extra shot.
Data from the UK’s Health Security Agency shows that across the UK 58.3 per cent of those aged over 12 have now had three doses, while 90 per cent have received a single injection and 82.4 per cent have received a dual vaccine.
Data from the UK’s Health Security Agency shows that 58.1 per cent of those aged over 12 in England have now had three doses, while 89.9 per cent have had a single injection and 82.2 per cent have received a dual vaccine.
UK Health Security Agency data shows that 37.6 million people in England had been double stabbed by 29 September.
But by December 29, three months later when these individuals were eligible for a third-strike, only 28.1 million were triple-strokes, meaning that 9.5 million of those eligible had not yet applied.
Some of those who did not come forward had Covid in the past month, which means they had to wait 28 days for a positive test to get a booster dose.
Although experts and ministers say two doses are not enough to protect against Omicron and prevent the NHS from being overwhelmed, the numbers mean a quarter of those eligible have yet to come forward.
Mr Johnson on December 12 brought the goal of providing an additional dose to all adults in the country by the end of January by a month amid concerns about the more transmissible Omicron variant. “Every eligible person aged 18 or over in England will have the opportunity to receive a boost before the New Year,” he said.
Nurse Salk Ali (right) delivers a ‘Jingle Jab’ Covid booster shot to a patient at Good Health Pharmacy in north London on Christmas Day this year
The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) later clarified that an injection would be offered to people by the end of the year rather than all eligible receiving a booster dose by then.
DHSC said today that those who qualify have now had the opportunity to get a third dose, so the government’s target has been met.
More than 8million third payments were made between the prime minister’s boosted announcement and December 30, and the NHS broke ‘record after record’ by shedding 830,000 extra doses in one day and giving one million Covid strikes in one day – which included the first strikes The second and third, the Department of Homeland Security said.
She added that seven out of 10 eligible boosters have now.
Health Minister Sajid Javid said: “Our world-leading vaccination program means tens of millions of people have been able to see their loved ones this Christmas knowing they are protected by reinforcement.
I am pleased to confirm that we have achieved our goal of delivering a Covid booster to all adults by the New Year.
“I am extremely proud of the work the NHS has done to accelerate the program and my thanks go to the frontline staff, volunteers, armed forces and the British public who have allowed us to fulfill this commitment.”
Susanna Tarbrush, a Kensington and Chelsea resident, tweeted ‘all is well’ for the Prime Minister and Minister of Health to rally around the boosted target, but more than half of people in her area are taking a double whammy while a third are boosted. .
The NHS chief says there is no need for any new lockdown measures to deal with Omicron as severe cases remain stable
The NHS chief says there is no need for any new lockdown measures to tackle Omicron as severe cases remain stable, although Britain’s Covid cases registered a new epidemic spike yesterday.
Chris Hobson, head of NHS Providers, said the trust’s chief executives are warning Britons should be careful how they interpret daily hospital numbers for Covid.
He added that health directors understand why the government has not yet imposed additional restrictions, due to the lack of an increase in the number of seriously ill elderly people, The Times reports.
UK Health Security Agency chiefs recorded 189,213 positive tests, up 58 per cent from last week, in another new record for cases reported per day on Thursday.
The number – which beat the previous record yesterday by more than 6000 – includes Wales numbers covering a two-day period.
The government said 332 more people had died within 28 days of testing positive for coronavirus, including a buildup of hospital deaths reported by NHS England covering the period from December 24 to 29.
She said the picture was “the same in many London neighborhoods”.
Jill King took to Twitter to ask how the government knew it had introduced a booster to all adults. “Is it the text message we all got?” she said.
Twitter user McKim Fox said the goal was only achieved because the wording was that all Britons would be “offered a booster dose”.
Andrew Simpson tweeted that January 10 is the earliest he can get a booster date.
NHS chief executive Matthew Taylor said some primary care leaders had reported people were missing up to 40 per cent of booked appointments.
And Professor Martin Marshall, president of the Royal College of General Practitioners, warned yesterday that the start-up was almost to a halt over Christmas.
“The vaccination program is going well but it has been very slow over the Christmas period, particularly in GP centres,” he told Radio Times. “I think that will improve again in January but it was a bit disappointing for the staff.”
But in an upbeat New Year’s message, the prime minister insisted the Covid situation was ‘better than last year’.
“Whatever challenges fate still throws our way and whatever concerns we may have about the coming weeks and months, particularly about Omicron and the increasing numbers in hospitals, we can say one thing for sure – our position this December 31 is better than that,” he said. Not measured from last year.
This comes after daily Covid-19 cases in the United Kingdom recorded a new epidemic rise of 189,213, which includes two days of figures from Wales, while deaths jumped to 332 and the number of hospitalizations in England almost doubled in a week, reaching the highest level since February.
Johnson praised the success of the UK’s booster programme, but used his rhetoric to issue a stark warning to people who didn’t get all the blows.
In a video message posted online this morning, Mr Johnson said: “I want to speak directly to all those who have not yet been fully vaccinated.
People who think disease can’t harm them. Look at the people who are in the hospital now – it could be you.
“Look at the ICUs and the needless miserable suffering of those who didn’t get the booster – it could be you.
So, make it your New Year’s resolution. Get that hit and do something that will make 2022 a happy new year for all of us.
Meanwhile, Sir Keir Starmer used his New Year’s message to promise a plan to “build a new Britain”.
‘I think the best is still waiting for Britain,’ said the Labor leader, who will start 2022 with his party’s lead in recent opinion polls. If we make the right choices, together we can seize the future and make it work for every family in every part of Britain.
This must be the true legacy of all the sacrifices and pain over the past two years of the pandemic.
Liberal Democratic Party leader Sir Ed Davy used his letter to say he hopes 2022 will be ‘the year we will finally defeat Covid’.