Boris Johnson announcement – PM's covid update reveals major booster vaccine rollout as 1st Omicron patients in hospital

BORIS Johnson addressed the nation this evening on the threat of the covid Omicron variant.

The PM made an announcement on the importance of vaccines, revealing he was bringing forward the availability of booster jabs to anybody aged 18 and over.

In doing so he set a massive target for the NHS, which now needs to repeat its best every day for vaccinations every single day between now and the end of the year.

It comes as ‘Plan C’ restrictions could be enforced in the New Year if the Omicron variant sees cases surging, according to reports today.

Read our Omicron live blog for the latest news and updates…

  • John Hall

    CHILLING ECHOES

    Memories of the darkest days of 2020 were evoked by Boris Johnson's speech today, with his chilling words "we are now facing an emergency".

    While we are growing increasingly used to hearing such dramatic language, it's worth remembering how rare it was before Covid-19 to hear Prime Ministers making these kind of announcements.

  • John Hall

    MASSIVE RISE

    The new rollout comes as cases of the Omicron variant rose by a staggering 65% in the past 24 hours.

  • John Hall

    SERIOUS TIMES

    Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon says work in underway to prepare for a massive rollout of booster vaccines in Scotland.

  • John Hall

    MEET THE TARGET

    The biggest question being asked is whether the NHS is going to be capable of hitting the huge target of offering all adults a third shot by the end of the year.

    To put it in some perspective, it requires the number hit on the UK's best ever day of vaccination to be hit day after day until December 31.

  • John Hall

    HUGE NUMBERS

    In order to meet the target of December 31 booster jab target, the UK must now hit its best ever day of vaccinations day after day for the rest of the year.

    That's an incredibly difficult target to hit.

  • John Hall

    NO EXTRA MEASURES

    Despite the new booster updates and the fact some medical procedures are now being cancelled, the PM did not announce any extra restrictions.

  • John Hall

    ON THE BRINK

    The booster rollout comes amid warnings of a major Omicron variant outbreak in January that could easily see the NHS overwhelmed.

  • John Hall

    HUGE PLANNING

    To hit the new targets, the army are involved in the vaccine rollout and some medical procedures are having to be cancelled.

  • John Hall

    MASSIVE NUMBERS

    In order to meet the PM's new targets, there needs to seven weeks of vaccinations done in just three weeks.

    That means the government needs to provide 18 million people in 19 days.

  • John Hall

    LET'S DO IT

    Let's get boosted now for our friends and family, to protect the economy and protect the NHS, Boris Johnson said.

  • John Hall

    HOSPITAL APPOINTMENTS CANCELLED

    The PM revealed that some hospitals are already cancelling non urgent appointments to avoid the NHS being overwhelmed.

    Doing so will avoid more urgent appointments, such as cancer checks, being cancelled further down the line.

  • John Hall

    VACCINE BOOST

    Everybody in the UK aged 18 and over can now get their vaccine booster, Boris Johnson revealed at the press conference tonight.

  • John Hall

    BOOSTERS ARE VITAL

    Addressing the nation, Boris said getting a vaccine booster is the best thing Brits can do to avoid the omicron outbreak becoming a total crisis.

  • John Hall

    Are you eligible for the booster?

    Despite an official announcement stating that 3.5million people between the ages of 30 and 39 could book their booster from Monday following updated advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation, the system appears to be allowing over-30s to book from today.

    The bookings can be made two months after receiving the second dose – one month in advance of becoming eligible to receive the jab.

    The latest move means that the online booking system has opened to an extra 10million Brits in just seven days.

  • John Hall

    Gove leads push for Plan C

    Michael Gove is leading the push for Plan C Covid curbs including vaccine passports for pubs over Omicron fears.

    But Boris Johnson and Downing Street are reportedly resisting fresh restrictions after Plan B rules to tackle the variant kicked in on Friday.

    The Prime Minister faces a huge backbench rebellion over the Plan B measures, with 65 mutinous MPs indicating they'll vote against them on Tuesday.

    Mr Gove warned on Friday that the government had seen "very challenging information" about how quickly Omicron spreads.

    And hinting at Plan C rules being imposed, the Housing Secretary said: "We need to keep everything under review."

  • John Hall

    'A third of infections in London are Omicron'

    Mr Zahawi fears an explosion of cases that could see millions affected.

    Speaking to Trevor Phillips on Sky, he said: "What we know, hence the concern, is that a third of infections in London are Omicron.

    "Reported tests are indicating about 1,600 cases, but the number of infections in the community will be multiple that – up to 10 times.

    "It's highly infectious, with a doubling rate between two and three days.

    "Very quickly Omicron will be the dominant variant in the UK and probably the rest of the world.

    "We've seen this movie before with the Kent and Delta variants.

    "There are cases in hospital with Omicron."

  • John Hall

    First Omicron patients in hospital

    Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi confirmed there are now patients on wards who have tested positive for the strain – and said we face a race to get all adults the booster.

    It's not known if those in hospital are seriously ill or in ICU, and no one is yet known to have died as a result of contracting the variant.

    Data shows boosters offer up to 75 per cent protection from mild infection from Omicron, with The Sun relaunching our hugely successful Jabs Army campaign.

    But Mr Zahawi said he fears an explosion of cases that could see millions affected within weeks, with the variant doubling every two to three days.

  • John Hall

    ‘MPs warned to be on standby for vote on new restrictions in Christmas week’

    MPS have allegedly been warned to be "on standby" to vote on new restrictions during Christmas week as Omicron continues to grip the nation.

    Plan C may be enacted before Christmas as MPs have been told to prepare for a Parliament recall on December 21 if the Covid situation spirals, it's been reported.

    This means indoor mask-wearing and table service in pubs and bars may be back before the festive season.

    And according to sources, a Plan D is already being considered – which would force punters to dine outdoors again.

  • John Hall

    The Sun's Jabs Army

    The Sun's Jabs Army helped administer millions of jabs this year – and now we are calling Brits to get their boosters.

    Mary Ramsay, jabs chief at the UKHSA, said: “These early estimates show that, a few months after the second jab, there is a greater risk of catching Omicron compared to Delta.

    “But the data suggests this risk is significantly reduced following a booster vaccine.

    “We expect the vaccines to show higher protection against the serious complications of Covid-19.”

  • John Hall

    Kids as young as five ‘set to be given Covid jabs’

    Leaked proposals first reported by The Sun showed health bosses are preparing to vaccinate children aged between five and 11 next spring.

    Now, healthcare officials have been told to prepare for a mass vaccination of primary school kids ready for approval by regulators.

    According to secret plans, parental consent will be needed for kids aged five to 11 to get jabbed and the environment must be "age appropriate", reports the Sunday Times.

    Officials fear Covid will continue to rage until 2024 — making it necessary to immunise younger Brits.

    Scientists have warned children were "key drivers" in adult transmissions during the summer.

    But before the rollout can go ahead, UK regulators must still green light it for use in under-12s.

  • John Hall

    Boris Johnson defies critics by vowing to stay on as Tory leader

    The PM has defied his critics by vowing to stay on as Tory leader and fight the next general election.

    He brushed off his most torrid spell as PM after Partygate and Wallpapergate and promised to be there to guide the country to “much, much better” times.

    Told that some MPs feel he has little else to offer after delivering Brexit and defeating Jeremy Corbyn and his Labour Party, he retorted: “What nonsense. I can imagine there may be people who wish to see this. I don’t know who.

    “But I’m afraid I am going to have to disappoint them.”

    In an interview with The Sun on Sunday, he insisted he was bristling with energy and determined to crack on with the task of “levelling up the country”.

  • John Hall

    Ministers urged to ban boozing in pubs 

    Pressure is rising on ministers to bring in even more strict Covid curbs — including a ban on boozing inside pubs — as early as this week.

    Experts claimed yesterday that the Omicron variant could cause up to 75,000 deaths in the worst case scenario over the next five months.

    The revelation comes after the Health Secretary Sajid Javid also received a presentation from the UK Health Security Agency saying “stringent national measures” tougher than Plan B should be in place by next Saturday.

  • Louis Allwood

    How have testing rules changed for coming back into the UK?

    Before Omicron, testing had become relatively pain-free for the fully-vaccinated.

    There was no need to test before you returned to the UK and it was fine to take a cheaper lateral flow test for your Day 2 test.

    Now things are very different. You will need to take a pre-departure test in your destination up to 48 hours before you return to the UK.

    This can be lateral flow or PCR. While it is relatively easy — and sometimes cheaper — to get tests at your destination, you can also book a video-call-supervised lateral flow test with many UK testing companies.

    With this, you order and pack the lateral flow test in your suitcase then have a supervised video call of the test and upload a photo of it.

    Generally, the certificate confirming your test is delivered within a few hours.

  • Louis Allwood

    Cases rise by 65% in 24 hours

    OMICRON cases have risen by 65 per cent in 24 hours as Brits are urged to get their life-saving Covid booster jabs.

    An additional 1,239 cases of Omicron have been recorded today, bringing the total number of confirmed variant cases to 3,137.

    The UK Health and Security Agency (UKHSA) said cases of the mutation have increased in the last day as fears continue to grow over Omicron.

    Yesterday, 633 new cases of the variant were recorded – which means mutation cases are on the rise with today's 1,239 infections.

    However, the health agency provided the first UK-based batch of evidence on vaccine efficacy against the strain – showing that three shots were far more protective than two.

    No10 is scrambling to stave off a winter surge and is begging Brits to get their boosters as The Sun's Jabs Army campaign marshals its recruits.

  • Louis Allwood

    PM accused of rule breaking

    Boris Johnson has been accused of flouting three Covid lockdown rules in a late-night dinner date with wife Carrie last year.

    A source has told how the pair were at a fashionable London restaurant until 10.25pm — despite the curfew imposing 10pm closing.

     At the time, venues in the capital were subject to strict rules which also required diners to wear masks when moving around in restaurants and a ban on different households mixing at tables.

    But he is said to have breached those curbs too.

    The PM and his wife enjoyed the night out on October 21 last year at Darby’s restaurant, a mile and a half from Downing Street.

    Covid cases in London were on “a steep upward path” with rates doubling every ten days.

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