Covid jab: Record number of people receive extra dose in Wigan

A record number of people received an extra dose of the coronavirus vaccine in Wigan after a new booster jab target was announced by the Prime Minister.
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On Sunday December 12, Boris Johnson revealed that every eligible adult in England is to be offered a top-up injection by the end of December, a month earlier than previously planned.

More than 40 per cent of adults across the UK have already had a booster vaccination, but Mr Johnson moved his target forward by a month in a bid to head off the worst effects of the Omicron variant.

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Data from the UK coronavirus dashboard shows at least 2,823 people in Wigan received a booster or third vaccine dose on Monday, December 13.

Health workers are trying to administer booster jabs as quickly as possibleHealth workers are trying to administer booster jabs as quickly as possible
Health workers are trying to administer booster jabs as quickly as possible
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That was up from 2,438 the same day last week, and the highest number since the NHS booster jab campaign was launched in mid-September.

They were followed by the 2,017 people who received an extra dose on Tuesday – the latest available data.

It means 118,319 people in Wigan had received a booster or third dose by December 14 – at least 40 per cent of people aged 12 and over, based on the number of people on the National Immunisation Management Service database.

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Around 906,900 people across England received an extra dose over Monday and Tuesday, the figures show.

Speaking at a Downing Street press conference on Wednesday night, Boris Johnson said it is “absolutely vital” that everyone gets a booster jab to tackle the Omicron variant of coronavirus.

He warned that the wave of Omicron "continues to roll in" across the UK, and warned in some areas the doubling rate was now under two days.

England’s chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty added that "records will be broken a lot" over the coming weeks.

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“What we’ve got is two epidemics on top of one another – an existing Delta epidemic, roughly flat, and a very rapidly-growing Omicron epidemic on top of it,” he said.

The NHS national booking system opened up to all over 18s in England on Wednesday as the health service ramped up its vaccination programme.

Though booster jabs are available for eligible people who had their second dose at least three months ago, adults can now book in their top-up dose after just two months. Third primary doses are already offered to people with severely weakened immune systems.

Dr Emily Lawson, head of the NHS Covid-19 vaccination programme in England, said: “The NHS Covid-19 vaccination programme is once again pulling out all the stops to protect the country from this cruel virus.

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“NHS staff are working flat out to set up more sites and put on extra appointments.

“This is by far the most complex but critical phase of the biggest and most successful vaccination drive and so with latest data showing that the booster is our best hope of protecting people against the new variant, it is vital people come forward as soon as possible.”

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