Boris Johnson has warned that eligible people need to get their booster jabs if England is going to avoid fresh Covid restrictions over winter.
Johnson today said a “new wave of Covid has steadily swept” through Europe and that “if we want to control the pandemic in the UK and avoid restrictions on our daily lives, we must all get vaccinated as soon as we are eligible”.
The government announced today that all over-40s will now be eligible to get their third vaccine in a bid to get more people protected over the colder months.
Around 12.6m people have had a booster jab so far, with 70 per cent over-70s coming forward.
England’s chief medical officer Chris Whitty today said that Covid cases, hospitals and deaths have been virtually “flat” for “some time”, despite some rises and drops in the daily figures.
However, he pointed out that the NHS is coming under pressure thanks to other winter illnesses being more prevalent this year.
It comes as Covid rates begin to soar in Europe, with Latvia and the Netherlands imposing strict Covid restrictions and Austria calling for a lockdown for all its unvaccinated residents.
Johnson said at a press conference today that people needed to get their booster jabs to avoid fresh restrictions in England.
“We cannot rule anything out and the most important thing people can do to stop non-pharmaceutical interventions from being taken, further restrictions, is to get their boosters,” he said.
“A new wave of Covid has steadily swept through central Europe and is now affecting our nearest neighbours in western Europe. History shows we cannot afford to be complacent.
“Those countries with lower vaccination rates have tended to see bigger rises in infection and have been forced to respond with harsher measures. This shows us, once again, that if we want to control the pandemic in the UK and avoid restrictions on our daily lives, we must all get vaccinated as soon as we are eligible.”