Boris Johnson calls in ARMY to dish out 'crucial' booster jabs in bid to save Christmas

BORIS Johnson today told Brits it's "crucial" that everyone comes forward for their booster jabs to fight off the Omicron variant.

The PM said the third dose will give people greater protection against the mutant strain and insisted there's no need for extra Covid restrictions.

Speaking during a visit to a vaccine centre in North London, he vowed to "throw everything" and turbocharging the rollout of jabs.

And he suggested the Army is now on standby to help accelerate the booster programme from 2.5 million to 3.5 million doses a week.

He said: "The answer is always to get the booster. It's overwhelmingly likely that the booster, getting vaccinated will give you more protection.

"What we need to do is delay the seeding of Omicron in this country. We don't see any need to change the overall guidance for how people should be living their lives.

The PM, who will get his own booster jab this week, said the third shot "can give you a lot of protection against all types of the virus".

He added: "We think that is overwhelmingly likely at any rate, so the crucial thing is for everybody now to come out and get your boosters."

During the visit he was asked about Moderna boss Stephane Bancel's comments about a likely "material drop" in vaccine effectiveness with Omicron.

He said the vaccine chief was "probably right" but stressed that it did not mean that vaccines would be rendered totally ineffective.

Ramping up rollout

The PM added: "He's not necessarily saying that this will mean that the vaccines are ineffective against serious illness or death.

"But they may be less effective in preventing transmission.

"We see some evidence from South Africa that Omicron is transmitted between people who have been vaccinated.

"But it's not clear to what extent this means that you're going to get a severe case of Omicron."

The PM also said he's confident "the NHS, all the volunteers, the Army, everybody can rise to the challenge" of fighting the new variant.

He added: "Is it going to be hard work? Yes it is, but I know people can do it."

Boris will today unveil a major ramping up of the booster rollout to dramatically increase the weekly rate of jabs going into arms.

The PM is poised to set out new plans to reopen pop up vaccine centres across the country and allow Brits to walk in without an appointment.

He aims to put rocket boosters under the programme and increase the number of doses administered every week from 2.5 million to 3.5 million.

Ministers hope that a huge surge in top-up shots can help keep the Omicron variant at bay by providing Brits with an extra layer of protection.

During a No 10 press conference this afternoon Boris will also insist new restrictions in force today are "proportionate and responsible".

He will say they're necessary to “buy us time in the face of this new variant" while scientists discover more about how dangerous it is.

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