BRITAIN’S race against Omicron saw almost two million boosters dished out over the weekend as the variant continued its rapid spread.
Rates are rising in all regions — and it accounted for almost nine in ten cases in London, the hardest hit area, after just a fortnight.
Another 91,743 Covid cases and 44 deaths were counted in the UK yesterday, with 8,044 cases confirmed as Omicron — but the variant could be responsible for as many as 69 per cent of the total.
UK Health Security Agency figures say it is behind 129 hospital admissions so far and 14 deaths.
Yet almost half of adults are now boosted and, research shows, the Moderna booster also provides the jabbed with excellent protection.
Moderna’s chief medical officer Dr Paul Burton said: “It’s highly effective and it’s extremely safe.”
It adds to promising findings on the antibody-creating properties of the Pfizer-BioNTech booster.
Sunday saw 33,151 first vaccine doses, 39,904 second ones and 846,466 boosters — making a total of 919,521 jabs in one day.
However, NHS medical director Prof Stephen Powis warned that there was still much to do.
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He said: “We’ve seen a remarkable response in the past week as people surged forward for boosters.
“A record week has been topped off with a ‘blockbooster’ weekend but the job is not done. My message to the country is book your top-up — it’s the best weapon in the arsenal against Omicron.”
Dr Simon Clarke, of the University of Reading, said evidence so far indicated boosters “far improved” protection against infection and serious disease from Omicron.
However, psychologist and SAGE adviser Prof Stephen Reicher warned: “If you want a good Christmas dinner, I’d say be very careful about meeting up before Christmas.”
The jabs booking system opened yesterday for second doses for the 12-to-15 age group.
HOW TO JOIN
VOLUNTEERS can register online at nhsvolunteerresponders.org.uk or by scanning the QR code above with your smartphone.
You will be asked to download the GoodSAM Responder app, which will match you to a role.
You need commit to only two six-hour shifts a month at a jabs centre. Your expenses will be covered and no experience or qualifications are needed.
You will be in a team with NHS staff and volunteers. The Royal Voluntary Service will make appropriate background checks.
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