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UK’s Johnson warns of Omicron ‘tidal wave’, says two doses not sufficient By Reuters


© Reuters. An ambulance drives previous St Thomas’ Hospital because the unfold of the coronavirus illness (COVID-19) continues, in London, Britain, December 12, 2021. REUTERS/Might James

By Andy Bruce and Kate Holton

LONDON (Reuters) -Britain faces a “tidal wave” of the Omicron variant of coronavirus and two vaccine doses is not going to be sufficient to include it, Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned on Sunday, as he accelerated the booster rollout programme.

Talking hours after authorities scientists lifted the COVID alert degree to 4 on a 5-point scale, Johnson mentioned the booster programme should go sooner as a result of scientists didn’t but know if Omicron was much less extreme than different variants.

“A tidal wave of Omicron is coming,” Johnson mentioned in a televised assertion on Sunday night. “And I am afraid it’s now clear that two doses of vaccine are merely not sufficient to present the extent of safety all of us want.”

Johnson added that with Omicron recognized to be way more transmissible than different variants, the Nationwide Well being Service would battle to deal with hospitalisations if the variant had been to tear by way of an un-boosted inhabitants.

“Everybody eligible aged 18 and over in England could have the possibility to get their booster earlier than the New Yr,” Johnson mentioned.

Information launched on Friday confirmed that vaccine efficacy in opposition to symptomatic an infection was considerably decreased in opposition to Omicron with simply two doses, however a 3rd dose boosted safety as much as over 70%.

With the intention to hit the accelerated rollout goal, navy planning groups shall be introduced in and new vaccine websites opened.


Johnson has responded to the emergence of Omicron by introducing a “Plan B” in England, ordering folks to work at home, put on masks in public locations and use vaccine passes to gradual the speed of infections.

Nevertheless a lot of Johnson’s personal Conservative Social gathering lawmakers are set to vote in opposition to these measures in parliament on Tuesday, and Johnson mentioned there have been no plans for additional restrictions as circumstances soar.

The seven-day common of COVID circumstances by date reported has risen in current days above 50,000 – the very best because the January peak over the last wave of the pandemic.

With 146,439 fatalities recorded inside 28 days of a constructive COVID-19 check as of Sunday, Britain has Europe’s highest loss of life toll from the virus.

Whereas that broken the federal government’s fame within the depths of the pandemic, officers have been praised for rolling out one of many quickest vaccine programmes, which helped to include each day loss of life figures.

In current weeks nevertheless questions have as soon as once more emerged over Johnson’s future after a sequence of scandals, probably the most damaging being experiences that events had been held at Downing Avenue throughout a 2020 Christmas lockdown when such festivities had been banned.

A Survation ballot for the Every day Mirror newspaper revealed on Sunday discovered that 77% of Britons mentioned they had been much less more likely to comply with COVID guidelines if authorities officers had damaged them.

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