“Un Omicron tidal wave ”. It is in these terms that Boris Johnson defined the epidemic recovery in the United Kingdom. Sunday, December 12, the Prime Minister announced a strong acceleration of the vaccine booster campaign, with the objective of offering a third dose of vaccine against Covid-19 to all adults by the end of December. “I fear that it is now clear that two doses of the vaccine are not enough to provide the level of protection that we all need,” he said in an address broadcast on television at 8 p.m.
The good news: “Our scientists are convinced that with a third dose – a booster dose – we can all increase our level of protection,” said Boris Johnson. Banking on this third dose to avoid overwhelming hospitals and paralyzing the economy, he announced that he would advance by one month the goal of offering this booster shot to everyone over 18 in England. They will now be able to benefit from it before the New Year. The other nations of the United Kingdom (Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales) will also speed up their vaccination program. To accompany this commotion of combat, the vaccination centers will multiply, their hours will be extended, soldiers will be deployed, and thousands of vaccinators will be trained.
A 65% increase in Omicron cases
The solemn announcement, from Downing Street, comes hours after the Covid alert level was raised from 3 to 4, due to a rapid increase in cases of the Omicron variant. The total number of Omicron cases detected in the UK has reached 3,137, an increase of 65% from the total of 1,898 cases on Saturday, but the actual number of cases is actually said to be much higher. Detected in the UK just over two weeks ago, Omicron is expected to be the dominant variant within days. The United Kingdom is particularly affected by the pandemic with more than 146,000 deaths and some 50,000 new infections recorded every day.
Screening will also be extended. From Tuesday, fully vaccinated contact cases of people who test positive for Covid-19 will be asked to perform antigen tests daily for seven days. Those who are not vaccinated must remain isolated for ten days. These announcements are in addition to other measures recently presented by Boris Johnson, including the return to teleworking and the introduction of the health passport in certain places such as discos. Submitted to a vote by deputies on Tuesday, these new measures should be adopted thanks to the support of the opposition Labor party, but Boris Johnson is exposed to the mistrust of part of his conservative camp.