against Omicron, the United Kingdom accelerates the pace for the third dose but refuses restrictive health measures

General mobilization against Omicron in the United Kingdom: alarmed by a variant of SARS-CoV-2 which spreads extremely quickly, the British government wants to drastically accelerate the campaign for the third dose of vaccine against Covid-19, betting on its effectiveness to avoid the most severe cases of the disease. Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced on Sunday December 12 that all eligible adults (those over 18, who received their second dose more than three months ago) will be able to receive their third dose before the end of this year and not more before the end of January 2022 as initially envisaged. In all, 4,713 cases of Omicron were identified Monday, December 13, but the number of infections doubles every two and a half days according to the authorities.

In a brief but serious speech to the nation, Mr Johnson on Sunday warned against ” a tsunami “ of the variant detected for the first time in South Africa (and in the United Kingdom at the end of November). “Don’t make the mistake of thinking that Omicron (…) cannot make you or your loved ones seriously ill. In South Africa, we see that hospitalizations have doubled in one week, and our hospitals have just received their first patients infected with Omicron ”, warned the leader. On Monday, Mr Johnson announced the first death from the variant in the country, and confirmed that ten patients infected with Omicron were hospitalized. The bulk of Omicron infections have been detected in England, but Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are also seeing cases climbing very quickly. “We are facing a tsunami”, Scottish Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon said on Friday.

Read also Omicron variant: in the face of the “tidal wave” in the United Kingdom, the press beats the recall

There is not yet sufficient clinical data to establish whether Omicron causes more severe infections than the Delta variant, but, “Even if this turns out to be the case, we already know that this variant is much more contagious and that a wave of Omicron in a population that has not received its third dose could overwhelm the national health system and unfortunately lead to a large number of deaths “, Mr Johnson clarified. On December 10, the British Health Safety Agency communicated very worrying data to Downing Street: infections with the Omicron variant could take precedence over those with the Delta variant from mid-December and at this rate, at the end of the months, a million Britons will have been infected with Omicron.

Thousands of dreaded hospitalizations per day

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