Boris Johnson to give a press conference today: PM in plea to nation amid fears for Xmas

Coronavirus: Plan B 'should be implemented' says Dr Amir

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The Prime Minister will call on the public to get their Covid jabs to keep the virus at bay. He will address the nation at 3pm this afternoon.

It comes as the JCVI recommended the booster vaccine programme be extended to all those over 40 and for 16 and 17 year olds to be offered a second injection.

So far 21.9 percent of the population have received the booster jab which gives maximum protection against coronavirus.

A top-up dose of the antidote six months after receiving a second injection gives ultimate protection against the virus and its mutations.

Until today only those aged 50 and above were eligible for the extra dose.

Ministers have been concerned at the pace of uptake for the additional jab and are urging all those eligible to book an appointment for a follow-up vaccine.

Ahead of tonight’s press conference, the Prime Minister said on a visit to a medical centre in east London this morning: “I think it’s very good news that the JCVI has today authorised the booster programme to be rolled out to everybody 40-plus, and when you look at what’s happening in the pandemic at the moment, just hearing in Newham sadly there are people in ITU, in intensive care, who are suffering badly from Covid, but they’re all the unvaccinated.

“And what’s happening is if you can get your booster then your immunity goes right back up to 95 percent.

“So far we’ve got 75 percent of everybody over 70 getting a booster, there’s a huge number of people, but it’s that further 25 percent that will make all the difference to winter, to Christmas, to our plans going forward, because it’s that extra level of protection that we really need.

“So the message is, anybody over 70 come forward, get your booster, anybody over 50 come forward and get your booster now, in the next week or so anybody over 40 as well, come forward and get your booster.”

Conservative party chairman Oliver Dowden this morning warned Britons it was up top them to ensure there would be no need for additional Covid measures over Christmas.

He said preventing new restrictions was “in our hands”.

“If you get the booster when the call comes that is the biggest wall of defence that we have against Covid,” he told Sky News.

“I am confident that if we stick the course, people take the boosters when they are asked to do so, that vaccine wall will hold up and we will be able to have a decent Christmas this year.

“There are no plans to stop Christmas happening.

“The huge difference this time is the vaccine.”

Yesterday 36,517 new Covid infections were recorded in the UK.

After more than a week of declining new infections, the last three days have seen a rise in positive cases.

There were 968 new hospital admissions according to the latest official figures, meaning there are now 8,652 patients on the NHS who have tested positive for Covid.

In the past week a further 1,093 people have died of the virus.

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