Huge rise in unvaccinated people getting their first jabs as Covid passports brought in

The number of people getting their first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine increased by 46 per cent in the week up to December 21, the same week the Government brought in vaccine passports. 

Official figures show that 221,564 first doses were administered in England in the week of December 15 to 21. In the same period, 279,112 second doses were given, a 39 per cent week-on-week jump.

Increased appetite for jabs was most obvious among young people, with an 85 and 71 per cent spike in the number of first doses for those aged 18 and 24 and 25 to 30, respectively. 

More than 1,000 over-80s also got their first jab in this week alone, including 136 people over 90. 

How many people have been vaccinated?

It is possible that rules which require people to provide their vaccination status before entering large events, or a negative lateral flow test, may have triggered an uptick in people finally getting the vaccination. 

But increasing concern about the omicron variant and its increased transmissibility may have also spurred some reluctant individuals into action in the run-up to Christmas.

‘No time to lose’ to get booster vaccine against omicron Covid variant

The Government has made a concerted effort to get people boosted, but has also been encouraging those who have not yet had their primary course of vaccination to come forward.

Sajid Javid said that it had "never been more vital to get your jabs" and described the recent surge in first and second doses as "excellent".

"Those initial jabs lay the foundation for the booster jab to protect against omicron,” said the Health and Social Care Secretary. “Two doses is not enough and you need to build protection jab by jab and once eligible get boosted now.”

The news comes as a senior NHS doctor warned "stragglers" who were eligible for a booster, but have yet not had one, that there was "no time to lose".

"The evidence is clear. One or two jabs can help but they do not provide the protection we all need against omicron," said Professor Stephen Powis, NHS national medical director 

"So if you are eligible for a Covid vaccination but haven’t had one there is no time to lose, you need to get boosted now," Prof Powis added.

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