Prime Minister Boris Johnson addressed the United Kingdom December 12, mentioning that the UK was the first country in the world to administer a vaccine, delivered the fastest roll-out of vaccines in Europe, and they’ve begun the fastest booster campaign. In response to the Omicron emergency, the Prime Minister announced the launch the Omicron Emergency Boost.
Johnson said these achievements are made possible by the extraordinary efforts of our NHS, including thousands of GPs and volunteer vaccinators - have literally saved countless lives and livelihoods in this country.
In an additional statement from the UK Health and Social Care Secretary, Sajid Javid, said with the new Omicron variant, we have to work even harder to stay ahead. Since last week, we’ve learned two things about this variant. The first is that no variant of COVID-19 has spread this fast.
There are now 4,713 confirmed cases of Omicron in the UK and the UK Health Security Agency estimates that the current number of daily infections are around 200,000.
While Omicron represents over 20 percent of cases in England – we’ve already seen it rise to over 44 percent in London and we expect it to become the dominant COVID-19 variant in the capital in the next 48 hours.
“There are currently 10 confirmed people in England who have been hospitalized with Omicron. It’s vital we remember that hospitalizations and deaths lag infections by around two weeks. So we can expect those numbers to dramatically increase in the days and weeks that lie ahead.”
In preparation, the UK’s four Chief Medical Officers raised the COVID Alert level to 4, its second-highest level, this was done over the weekend.
They’ve opened the booster program to every adult who’s had a second dose of the vaccine at least three months ago, to offer them the chance to get their booster by January 1.