Boris Johnson today unveiled the UK’s mammoth new booster vaccine drive as he pledged to deliver third doses to all adults by the end of January to shield the nation against the new Omicron supermutant Covid variant, after eight more cases of the strain were found in England bringing the UK total to 22 — but overall cases, deaths and hospital admissions fell, according to official data.
The Prime Minister announced he is drafting in the Army again to help deliver the programme and will offer GPs an extra £15 for every injection as he promised to deliver another ‘great British vaccination effort’.
A £5 bonus will be given to GPs per shot if they do them on Sundays and they will get a £30 premium for shots delivered to the most vulnerable who are unable to leave their homes. The Government is also recruiting 10,000 more paid vaccine volunteers and ‘tens of thousands’ more volunteers to help with the mammoth drive.
But it will likely mean fewer face face-to-face GP appointments for non-Covid patients, which are already running at about a fifth lower than pre-pandemic level.
Despite the new Omicron cases being spotted across the country, Britain’s overall infection numbers continued to fall today, with 39,716 positive tests recorded over the last 24 hours.