NHS is racing to get vaccinated against the ‘tide wave’ of Omicron infections

Sajid Javid, UK Health Secretary, has admitted that non-emergency operations in the UK will be postponed as the NHS prepares for a “race” between the Omicron variant of the coronavirus and a national campaign big on booster fighters.

Javid said there have been 10 people in UK hospitals with the Omicron variant and no one has died so far, but he added that the virus was spreading at an “extraordinary” rate and the country was struggling. face the “tidal wave” of infection.

He said the NHS would have to beat the previous record of 770,000 stings a day if it were to meet its target of giving every adult a booster shot by the end of the month that prime minister Boris Johnson has said is needed to problem solving “emergency situation“.

In a nationally televised address on Sunday, Johnson said he had spoken to the relevant regulators “to confirm that the UK government will provide additional support to accelerate immunization coverage in the UK”. Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland”.

In late November, in response to the new variant, the government cut the interval between the second and third doses from six to three months and pledged that all adults would be vaccinated by the end of January.

The health minister said he would be in charge of a major logistical exercise to achieve the new goal. He acknowledged that non-urgent surgery including knee and hip replacements would be postponed until the new year, but insisted that cancer screenings and treatment would be “completely unaffected” by the vaccine campaign. – ask for the NHS.

“The goal is huge,” he said, referring to the aim of providing a booster for all adults by the new year.

“To motivate this many people, you are going to have to beat that person every day. There will be different types of units, mobile units and we are asking GPs to do more, pharmacists to do more,” he told Sky News.

He said vaccine centers would be open “at least 12 hours a day” every day except Christmas Day. Military planners have also been called in to deal with the massive logistical exercise.

David Davis, a former Cabinet Secretary, said people would ask why the boost campaign wasn’t stepped up sooner, but Javid insists the NHS scheme is the most successful in Europe, with 40% of adults receiving it. an extra amount.

According to figures released on December 12, more than 23 million people across the UK have received a booster or third dose.

Javid told the BBC: “Our GP will only focus on urgent needs and vaccinations, and that means non-urgent appointments and elective surgeries may have to be postponed. into the new year.”

From Monday, everyone in the UK was asked to work from home but ministers were told by officials that the focus was now on the ramping up campaign, not additional social distancing measures.

Mr Javid said ministers had to make difficult decisions, taking into account the impact of the new measures on issues such as education, mental health and loneliness.

“Our job is to listen to the best advice and make decisions that balance and understand the trade-offs,” he says.

He said people should continue to plan ahead for Christmas but use lateral flow tests to reassure themselves and loved ones that they do not have Covid symptoms.

“I am planning to continue,” he said. “I think everyone should plan to enjoy Christmas with friends, family and loved ones, but be cautious.”

Johnson is facing a major revolt by dozens of Tory MPs on Tuesday over activating his “Plan B” Covid, which includes the use of vaccine certification or sideline testing to access to major events.

Meanwhile, Simon Case, the cabinet secretary, will this week prepare a report on alleged nefarious parties by government officials last Christmas. Johnson is also preparing for a congressional election that has many problems in the by-election North Shropshire on Thursday.

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