Boris Johnson has told the Downing Street coronavirus press conference that the British Army is being brought in to support the rollout of booster vaccines. The Government has accelerated the UK’s vaccine programme in a drive to curb the rise in cases linked to the new Omicron variant. Prime Minister announced at least 400 British troops will be deployed to support the NHS booster vaccine rollout.
Mr Johnson told the Downing Street briefing: “”There’ll be temporary vaccination centres popping up like Christmas trees and we’ll deploy at least 400 military personnel to assist the efforts of our NHS, alongside of course the fantastic jabs army of volunteers.
“I know the frustration that we all feel with this Omicron variant, the sense of exhaustion that we could be going through all this all over again.
“But today I want to stress this, today that’s the wrong thing to feel because today our position is and always will be immeasurably better than it was a year ago.
“What we’re doing is taking some proportionate precautionary measures while our scientists crack the Omicron code, and while we get the added protection of those boosters into the arms of those who need them most.”
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The Prime Minister also played down the likelihood of the UK entering into another strict lockdown
“I think another lockdown of the kind that we’ve had before is extremely unlikely,” Mr Johnson told a press conference.
“But we keep everything under constant review.”
He described the Government’s approach as “proportionate and balanced and suits the needs of the present risk”.
Mr Johnson added: “And of course we will change things as necessary.
“But what we’re looking for is the first real reassurance that we need that the vaccines are efficacious against this variant, even if the efficacity, the effectiveness, is reduced, it’s still very important to know whether they’re effective or not.
“And in particular, we need to know quite how effective the boosters are.
“As I’ve said, we think there are good grounds for believing that the boosters will give you, under all circumstances, the protection that you need, considerable protection.”
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It comes as Health Secretary Sajid Javid has described the ramping up of the coronavirus booster jab as a “national mission.”
Mr Javid told the briefing: “I know that the developments of the past few days have been worried for some people and that what we’re seeing recently has brought back memories of the strain of the last winter.
“Although we can’t say with certainty, what lies ahead we have one huge advantage that we didn’t have back then, our vaccination programme, which has already done so much to keep this virus at bay, but these defences will only keep us safe if we use them.
“This is a national mission and we all have a role to play. If we want to give ourselves the best chance of a Christmas with our loved ones the best thing we could all do, roll up our sleeves and get protected when the time comes.”Internet Explorer Channel Network