Britain expands COVID recall program as eight more Omicron cases discovered – .

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Britain expands COVID recall program as eight more Omicron cases discovered – .


  • Those under 40 may receive reminders
  • The gap to boosters has also been reduced as the program accelerates.
  • Scotland finds some cases unrelated to travel

LONDON, Nov. 29 (Reuters) – Britain will offer a COVID-19 booster shot to all adults in a bid to speed up its vaccination schedule amid concerns over the new variant of the Omicron coronavirus, as eight more cases have been discovered in the country.

Britain as a whole has reported 11 cases of the new variant, which the World Health Organization said on Monday was likely to spread internationally and posed a very high risk of flare-ups. infection. Read more

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson reacted to the emergence of Omicron by making the wearing of masks compulsory in shops and on public transport in England.

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He also asked the Joint Committee on Immunization and Immunization to review the booster program, which is currently open to people over 40, vulnerable people and health workers.

The JCVI on Monday recommended that boosters be offered to all adults under the age of 40, that the minimum gap between second doses and boosters be reduced to three months instead of six, and that young people aged 12 to 15 years old can receive a second injection. Read more

Health Minister Sajid Javid said he would follow the advice and the most vulnerable people would be given priority for injections, with more details in the coming days.

“We don’t know a lot about how our vaccine responds to this new variant. But while they may be less effective, they are very unlikely to have any effect against serious disease, ”Javid told lawmakers.

“With this new variant on the offensive, these measures will protect more people, faster, and make us better protected as a nation.” “

SOME COMMUNITY TRANSMISSIONS

Scotland reported six new cases of Omicron on Monday, with two more confirmed cases in London, to bring the England total to five.

The UK’s four countries have all restricted travel to southern Africa, where the variant was first detected last week, in a bid to slow its spread.

But Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said the six cases did not all have a recent travel history or known links to others who had traveled to southern Africa.

“This suggests that there may already be community transmission of this variant,” she said at a press conference.

“There is still no evidence that this is supported, nor any evidence from heightened surveillance that it is prevalent at this point. “

Sturgeon said the timeline of cases suggested it was unlikely but not impossible that there was a link to the COP26 climate change conference held in Glasgow earlier this month.

When asked if he believed there was community transmission in the UK, Prime Minister’s spokesman Boris Johnson told reporters: ‘I have no evidence of this in the state. current stuff. “

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Reporting by Alistair Smout, additional reporting by Elizabeth Piper; Editing by Kate Holton, John Stonestreet and Bernadette Baum

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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