Omicron: All adults to be offered Covid booster jab by end of January, PM confirms

30 November 2021, 16:55 | Updated: 30 November 2021, 18:47

By Sophie Barnett

The Government is aiming to offer a booster vaccine to all adults by the end of January, Boris Johnson has announced.

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Speaking at a Downing Street press conference, the Prime Minister said jabs will be given out in age groups, going down in five year bands.

Mr Johnson said it is "vital" the more clinically vulnerable and elderly people get the added protection first.

"The target that we've set ourselves is to offer a booster to everyone eligible by the end of January," he explained.

"As with the first jabs, we will be working through people by age group going down in five-year bands, because it is vital that the older and the more clinically vulnerable get that added protection first.

"So, even if you have had your second jab over three months ago and you are now eligible, please don't try and book until the NHS says it is your turn."

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Mr Johnson, who is getting his booster jab on Thursday, said England will have more than 1500 community pharmacy sites.

"There'll be temporary vaccination centres popping up like Christmas trees and we'll deploy at least 400 military personnel to assist the efforts of our NHS, alongside of course the fantastic jabs army of volunteers," he said.

"I know the frustration that we all feel with this Omicron variant, the sense of exhaustion that we could be going through all this all over again.

Read more: Military deployed to help massive Covid vaccine effort as UK fights Omicron variant

"But today I want to stress this, today that's the wrong thing to feel because today our position is and always will be immeasurably better than it was a year ago.

"What we're doing is taking some proportionate precautionary measures while our scientists crack the Omicron code.

"And while we get the added protection of those boosters into the arms of those who need them most."

His comments come as mandatory face masks were introduced in shops and on public transport on Tuesday.

Arrivals to the UK also now have to isolate when they get here, and stay in quarantine until they receive a negative PCR test – which has to be taken by the end of their second day in the country.

Anyone who is a contact of an Omicron case must also self-isolate, regardless of their age or vaccination status.

The measures are designed to slow the variant's spread while experts study it further.