'Jingle jabs' as Brits queue for Christmas Day booster doses

25 December 2021, 08:04 | Updated: 25 December 2021, 16:14

Brits queued for Christmas Day boosters
Brits queued for Christmas Day boosters. Picture: Alamy

By Will Taylor

Brits mixed up their festivities by getting their booster jab on Christmas Day.

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A raft of appointments were booked for December 25, which will see people in England fit a vaccine dose around their turkey dinner and gift giving.

NHS staff and volunteers have stepped up to distribute vaccines on the day in what was described as a "jingle jab" campaign.

Boris Johnson said there is there is "a wonderful thing you can give your family and the whole country, and that is to get that jab", while Health Secretary Sajid Javid suggested people "make the booster a part of your Christmas this year".

Dr Emily Lawson, head of the NHS Covid vaccination programme, said: "I want to thank every NHS staff member and volunteer who is helping to deliver Covid vaccinations today, in an effort to keep the booster roll-out going over the festive season and get as many people protected as possible.

Read more: Boris Johnson and Keir Starmer address nation in 'heartfelt' Christmas messages

Read more: Government to send out mass Boxing Day text telling Brits to get boosted now

"We have seen so many records broken in the lead up to Christmas Day, and it has been humbling to see first-hand the amazing work done at vaccination sites, who for the last year have gone above and beyond to get people vaccinated.

"And if you haven't yet had your booster jab, come forward, book an appointment and give your loved ones the best possible gift by getting protected today."

Vaccine clinics in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will be shut. The devolved administrations have announced new measures from Boxing Day to fight the spread of Omicron.

The volunteers get to work as Brits enjoy the opportunity to have a more normal Christmas than last year, when new restrictions threw millions of people’s plans into turmoil.

More than 32 million booster and third doses have been given out across the UK, while the Omicron variant has helped drive a surge in cases.

This week, the country began reporting six-figure daily confirmed infections for the first time, and more than 122,000 were announced on Christmas Eve.

A Sage meeting on December 23 saw experts model Step 2 measures, which would effectively ban indoor mixing and limit outdoor socialising to the rule of six, which it said would "reduce the peak of hospital pressure to about half its level under Plan B only".

The Government will send a mass text on Boxing Day urging people to get boosted.