Vaccines are the way through winter, PM insists amid NHS tipping point warning

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Britons are being urged once again to get rid of Covid and get their boosters whenever they are called, with Boris Johnson insisting it will guide the country “through the winter”.

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The prime minister’s repeated calls to vaccinate people comes as he continues to fight mounting pressure to implement so-called Plan B restrictions despite warnings from doctors and nurses that the NHS is not far from a tipping point.

Strict measures will include guidance on work from home and mandatory use of face masks.


The health secretary, Sajid Javid, said this week new cases could reach 100,000 a day, but number 10 insisted the NHS still had excess capacity and that strict measures would only be active if hospitals were under “significant pressure”. Will.

however, as Granthshala It was revealed on Saturday night, the steady rise in Covid cases and the number of patients admitted to hospitals every day near 1,000 have left health workers, the country “three or four weeks” from a serious problem if the increase remains unchecked. away” may be. .

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An NHS chief, Sir Chris Ham, even suggested Mr. Javid was living in a “parallel universe”.

In Saturday night’s “call to everyone”, Mr Johnson said Britain had made “unprecedented progress but our work is not finished”.

“To keep yourself, your loved ones and everyone around you safe, please get your booster when the call comes in,” he continued. “We can and will defeat this virus, but only if we listen to the science and see each other.”

Mr Johnson added: “Whether you are eligible for a booster, your second dose has not yet been completed, or your child is eligible for a dose – vaccines are safe, they save lives, and they are our way out of it.” There are ways. Global pandemic.”

Nearly four million booster doses have already been administered in the UK – and the National Booking Service had its busiest week of booster bookings, with nearly half a million jabs booked on Wednesday and Thursday alone.

Along with the PM’s statement, Downing Street warned that “there will be an increase in transmission of the virus” over the next few months but assured the public that “vaccines are our best line of defence”.

The government also emphasized: “The booster program is designed to enhance weakened immunity”. [recent studies suggest protection against death falls from 95 per cent to 80 per cent for AstraZeneca after six months, and from 99 to 90 for Pfizer] For those most at risk in the winter months. “

“This added protection is important, and everyone over the age of 50 or at high risk from Covid will be invited for a booster jab six months after their second dose,” officials said.

Elsewhere, the World Health Organization struck a different tone for Mr Johnson when he warned that a vaccine alone would not be able to lift the world out of the pandemic.

Spokesperson Margaret Harris told Times Radio: “The problem is focusing on one thing, the vaccine isn’t going to take us out of it. We really have to take other measures.”

“We have to be serious about not crowding. We have to wear a mask even when you are especially indoors. “

Professor Peter Openshaw, member of the New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group (Nervtag), said the case numbers and death rates are currently “unacceptable”.

He said measures such as working from home and wearing masks are “so important” as part of efforts to control the spread of Covid.

Prof Openshaw of Imperial College London told bbc breakfast: “I am very afraid that if we do not act soon we are going to have another lockdown Christmas. We know it is time to act immediately with public health measures. There is no point in delaying. “

He continued: “We all really, really want to have a wonderful family Christmas where we can all get back together. If that’s what we want, we need to put these measures in place right now to fix transmission rates.” So that we can actually get together and see each other at Christmas.

And in a clear sign of busy months for the NHS, the former head of England’s Covid vaccine rollout has been sent back to the job amid concerns over the rising number of cases. Dr Emily Lawson has returned to healthcare after being seconded in the number 10 delivery unit.

A further 135 people died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19 as of Saturday, according to the latest government figures, bringing the UK total to 139,361.

There were also 44,985 lab-confirmed Covid-19 cases in the UK in the last 24-hour period, the figures showed.


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