SEEING the British public respond and come forward in their millions for their Covid-19 vaccines and boosters has filled me with hope.
I wish this pandemic was over now, but I am a realist. Things are better than back in 2020 — far better — the end is in sight, but we are not quite there yet.
Omicron is a really frustrating and unwelcome turn in this pandemic.
It is by far the most infectious variant to emerge and has resulted in record numbers of cases in the UK — they really are extraordinarily high.
It is still a bit touch and go on hospital admissions and will be for a few more weeks — but there’s no doubt we are in a much stronger place than in 2020 and early 2021 as we have an excellent vaccine programme.
The chances of hospitalisation have reduced slightly with Omicron but it is still putting thousands of people into hospital. The NHS is under intense pressure, which will impact non-Covid care.
Young and middle aged people are being admitted to hospital.
For example, we are currently seeing significant numbers of pregnant women being admitted with Covid. It makes me rather sad that quite a bit of this is avoidable.
Vaccines are safe, they work and they are the way out of the pandemic and back to normality.
You may have heard our vaccines do not work quite as well against Omicron as they did for Alpha and Delta.
That is true, but it’s still very much the case that after boosting, protection against the risk of hospitalisation with Covid-19 is well over 80 per cent.
Data shows that over 60 per cent of adults admitted to hospital critical care with Covid-19 in December 2021 were unvaccinated, and more than 90 per cent had not had a booster.
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A booster also decreases the chance you will be infected in the first place, which is important to prevent you passing the virus on to others who may be more vulnerable. In short, boosters are a crucial part of our defence.
An incredible 51million Brits have had their first dose, 47million their second and 35million their booster. But this isn’t enough — we need to finish the job.
We need more people to come forward for their first, second or booster jabs.
The higher the uptake for those all- important jabs, the fewer people end up in hospital and the sooner the pandemic will be over. It is as simple as that.