Get Covid-19 booster jab, urges health chief as ‘winter is coming’


senior health chief has urged people to get their Covid-19 booster jab as the NHS sends out a further two million invites this week.

NHS medical director Professor Stephen Powis said infection rates are rising, while the Government again ruled out a move to its coronavirus Plan B despite calls to bring in measures to curb the spread of the virus.

NHS England said more than five million people have already been given the additional jab since the vaccination programme began administering them last month.

And on Sunday, it said more than 800,000 people had their booster in the past 72 hours.

The Government has launched a media blitz in recent days encouraging people to get a booster, as well as urging those not yet vaccinated to get jabbed.

But Professor Adam Finn, who is on the Joint Committee of Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), has warned that the vaccination programme will not be enough to bring current infection rates under control.

He said people need to be testing themselves, wearing masks and avoiding crowds in enclosed spaces in order to prevent “a real meltdown”.

Health Secretary Sajid Javid said last week that new cases could reach 100,000 a day, but Downing Street has insisted there is still spare capacity in the NHS and that Plan B will only be activated if it comes under “significant pressure”.

Plan B includes working-from-home guidance and the mandatory use of face masks.

The Daily Telegraph is reporting that modelling seen by the Government predicts that there will be a rapid fall in infections within weeks without bringing in Plan B.

Asked if it is time to bring in Plan B to tackle the virus, Chancellor Rishi Sunak told BBC One’s The Andrew Marr Show on Sunday that “at the moment the data does not suggest that we should be immediately moving to Plan B”.

Vaccines minister Maggie Throup told LBC Plan A is “working” and “where we need to be”.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson watches as Nitza Sarner, 88, receives a Pfizer booster vaccination at the Little Venice Sports Centre in west London (Matt Dunham/PA) / PA Wire

Meanwhile, anyone who receives a text or letter inviting them for a booster jab is urged to take up the offer as soon as possible.

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