Wales will get ‘additional support’ to accelerate boosters says Johnson as he set New Year target for England
The Prime Minister has said that Wales will get “additional support to accelerate vaccinations” as he brought England’s target to vaccinate all over-18s with a booster jab forward a month to the New Year.
Boris Johnson declared an “Omicron emergency” which would be matched by an “Omicron Emergency Booster National Mission”.
“We’ve spoken today to the devolved administrations to confirm that the UK Government will provide additional support to accelerate vaccinations in Scotland, Wales and Northen Ireland,” he said.
In a release sent out after Boris Johnson’s statement, Mark Drakeford set no similar target date.
“We are doing everything we can to accelerate our vaccination programme to increase the number of people who will receive their booster in the coming days and weeks,” Wales’ First Minister said. “Older people and those at greatest risk are being prioritised at the moment.
“We are increasing the number of clinics and their opening hours; we have asked all available staff to join vaccination teams to support this national effort.
“Please make having your booster a priority. It will be one of the most important things you can do to protect yourself against coronavirus and this new variant.”
Hours before, the UK’s Covid alert level was raised to four for the first time since May after a joint decision by Wales, England, Scotland and Northern Ireland’s Chief Medical Officers.
“I’m afraid we’re now facing an emergency in our battle with the new variant Omicron,” Boris Johnson said.
“It is now clear that two doses of vaccine are simply not enough to give the level of protection we all need. But the good news is that our scientists are confident that with a third dose, a booster dose, we can all bring our level of protection back up.
“At this point our scientists cannot say that Omicron is less severe. And even if that proved to be true, we already know it is so much more transmissible that a wave of Omicron through a population that was not boosted would risk a level of hospitalisation that could overwhelm our NHS and lead sadly to very many deaths.”
Some medical appointments in England may be postponed to focus on boosting all adults by the New Year, he said.
Initial data shows that getting a third booster dose may prevent around 75% of people getting any Covid symptoms from Omicron.