Huge queues for booster jabs as PM confirms first Omicron death

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Boris Johnson has confirmed that “at least” one person had died with the new Omicron Coronavirus variant, as thousands have been pictured queuing around the block to get their booster jabs.

The PM was speaking earlier today at a vaccination clinic near Paddington, west London, when he confirmed the death – although he did not confirm if the variant had caused the death.

He said: “Sadly yes Omicron is producing hospitalisations and sadly at least one patient has been confirmed to have died with Omicron.

“So I think the idea that this is somehow a milder version of the virus, I think that’s something we need to set on one side and just recognise the sheer pace at which it accelerates through the population.

“So the best thing we can do is all get our boosters.”

Social media was flooded with pictures of pop-up booster clinics loaded with Brits eager to get their booster jab, after the PM opened the chance to have it to anyone aged 18 or over last night.

It was also made clear by scientists late last week that the booster jab is the only effective course of action against the new variant.

However, despite Government officials also telling the population to take regular tests, the website used for ordering the ran out this morning.

Users looking to order are greeted with a message stating that “there are no more home tests available”, and they are then told to “try again later” or to book a test site appointment instead.

Double-jabbed people identified as a contact of someone with Covid-19 in England will be told to take a daily rapid test for seven days from tomorrow, while new regulations, set to be put to a debate and vote in the Commons this week, could also see the NHS Covid Pass, on the NHS app, becoming mandatory.

If passed this could be used for entry into clubs and other large gatherings – although a large Conservative rebellion could put paid to that, depending on how the Labour Party votes.

An NHS spokesman tweeted: “The Covid vaccine booking service is currently facing extremely high demand so is operating a queuing system.

“For users aged 18-29, please be aware that booking opens on Wednesday 15 Dec. For all others experiencing waits, we would advise trying again later today or tomorrow.”

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The world of football has no escaped the recent increase in cases, as Tottenham and Norwich have both had to deal with a lot of cases.

Premier League chiefs wrote to all 20 clubs on Thursday evening and ordered them to re-impose emergency Covid measures.

"They are similar regulations to what we have had previously, so there won't be too much newness about it from what the lads were doing before," Smith said.

"The protocols are there for a reason. If we are following them, then there shouldn't be too many worries about a spread."

The call from the PM for everyone to get a boosted jab was backed by Leader leader Sir Keir Starmer, and Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey.

The former said: "So much has been asked of the British people, and time and again you have risen to the challenge. So let's keep our foot on the pedal and get Britain boosted to protect our families, friends and NHS."

And the latter, who said it was in the "national interest" to get the jab, added: "They're having to rush it in an emergency and cause all these pressures on NHS staff."

  • NHS

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