A “normal Christmas” is on the way, providing everyone “plays our part”, health secretary Sajid Javid has said today.
Responding to concerns that this Christmas could face the same fate it did last year, Javid told BBC Breakfast: “What we know about this virus is that it’s unpredictable and I don’t think any sensible health secretary across the world would want to predict exactly where we are going to be in three months’ time or six months’ time, not least because there’s always a risk of a variant which could be more dangerous.
“For all of those people like me who are hoping and planning for a normal Christmas – I think that’s where we’ll be, if we keep playing our part.”
The health secretary further urged the public to get vaccinated and take daily precautions like wearing a mask and using hand sanitiser.
Similarly, he told LBC: “We all want a fantastic Christmas and we can ensure that by getting out there and getting our vaccines.
“There are still some five million people out there that haven’t had a single dose of the vaccine and we need to basically tell them they need to do that, not just to protect themselves but to protect their loved ones, to do their bit.”
His comments come as the country undergoes its booster jab rollout, which ensures that the group whose vaccinations were prioritised at the beginning of the immunisation process, are still protected as the vaccine effects fade slightly over time.
Those eligible for boosters include anyone aged 50 and over, people living and working in care homes for the elderly, and frontline health and social care workers.
All those who are clinically extremely vulnerable and anyone aged 16 to 65 in an at-risk group for Covid (who were included in priority groups one to nine during the initial vaccine rollout) will also be eligible for a jab.
As well as adults who share a household with vulnerable people will also be offered the booster jab.