• Friday, December 02, 2022

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25 million Britons get booster shots as virus continues to surge

People queue up for Covid-19 vaccinations at a community centre near Oval on December 16, 2021 in London, England. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

By: Chandrashekar Bhat

BRITAIN has administered booster shots to more than one-third of its population amid surging cases of new infections.

The health department said “a record” 745,000 people received a third jab in the UK on Thursday (16) alone, taking the total to more than 25 million.

Health secretary Sajid Javid said the pace of the drive reflected people’s “enthusiasm” nationwide to get themselves boosted against the virus.

“Today’s milestone of 25 million top-up jabs is a testament to the enthusiasm of people up and down the country who are rolling up their sleeves to get boosted now,” he said.

In a bid to speed up the vaccination efforts, the 15-minute observation period following the administration of Pfizer and Moderna vaccines has been suspended.

Some 750 personnel of armed forces have been drafted in to support the deployment of vaccines across the UK. Thousands of volunteers have stepped up to back the drive as extra vaccine centres and pop-up sites are opened.

Eligible adults can walk into vaccination centres or book online through the National Booking Service.

NHS England has also launched a recruitment drive for 10,000 new vaccinators, administration staff, healthcare support workers and volunteers to join the national immunisation mission.

According to the Health Security Agency, a booster vaccine “tops up protection against symptomatic infection from the Omicron variant to around 70 per cent”.

“We have no time to waste in the race between the virus and the vaccine. Booster jabs are absolutely critical for strengthening our defences,” Javid said.

Vaccines minister Maggie Throup, who hailed the “real sense of public spirit”, urged people to turn up for the vaccination in larger numbers.

“Keep coming forward for your jabs. It is one of the single most important things you can do this winter.”

According to Worldometer data, the UK recorded 88,376 new Covid cases and 146 deaths on Thursday (16).

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