Covid live: boosters increase protection against death from Omicron in over-50s to 95% – UKHSA; UK records 338 deaths

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Boosters increase protection against death from Omicron in over-50s to 95% – UKHSA

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A vaccine expert has said the UK’s Covid focus should shift away from the booster programme and move towards urging the unvaccinated to get first doses, Nicola Davis reports.

Efforts to increase uptake of Covid jabs in the UK should be concentrated on reducing the number of unvaccinated people rather than booster jabs, a leading expert has said.

As Omicron spread rapidly around the country towards the end of 2021, health advisers and government ministers stressed that two doses “are not enough” to protect against the new variant, urging those eligible to take up a booster dose as soon as possible.

The message hit home: in an attempt to avert another dismal Christmas and protect their loved ones people dashed to get jabbed, with 968,665 booster or third vaccinations reported on 21 December alone. But uptake subsequently fell dramatically, with booster doses now bobbing about 50,000 a day.

Now a leading vaccine expert has said the focus should be placed on reducing the numbers of those who have yet to have even their first jab.

“I think the booster programme might have reached saturation and [it is] best to concentrate on those who had no vaccine at all – as their chance of dying is 11 times higher than vaccinated folks,” said Prof Beate Kampmann, director of the vaccine centre at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.

More on this story here: UK Covid efforts should target unvaccinated, says expert

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UK reports another 96,871 Covid cases and 338 deaths

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