Booster jab 'crucial' against Omicron coronavirus variant, says vaccine minister Maggie Throup

Booster jab
Booster jab
Danny Lawson
Gareth Milner

By Gareth Milner

Published: 27/01/2022

- 19:22

Updated: 14/02/2023

- 11:45

Vaccines Minister Maggie Throup says: 'A booster vaccine is absolutely crucial to topping up your immunity against the Omicron variant'

The booster vaccine offers “high levels of protection” against the Omicron variant and significantly reduces the risk of death, new data shows.

Protection against death with Omicron stands at around 60% for those aged 50 and over about six months after a second dose of a Covid-19 vaccine, figures from the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) show.

That increases to around 95% two weeks after receiving a third booster dose.

The booster offers high levels of protection against hospitalisation, the figures also show, with the effectiveness of the Pfizer jab against admission standing at around 90%, dropping to about 75% after 10-14 weeks.

The Moderna booster’s effectiveness against hospitalisation is 90-95% up to nine weeks after vaccination.

People have again been urged to get their booster jab on the back of the findings.

Dr Mary Ramsay, head of immunisation at the UKHSA, said: “The evidence is clear – the vaccine helps to protect us all against the effects of Covid-19 and the booster is offering high levels of protection from hospitalisation and death in the most vulnerable members of our society.

“The pandemic is not over yet and the vaccine is the best way to increase your protection against the serious consequences of this virus. Please book your appointment for your first, second or third vaccine without delay.”

Vaccines Minister Maggie Throup added: “A booster vaccine is absolutely crucial to topping up your immunity against the Omicron variant.

“More than 80% of eligible adults in England have already received their booster and this has allowed us to ease Covid-19 restrictions.

“You can book online, visit a walk-in or one of our many pop-up vaccination clinics. Please get boosted now.”

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