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‘Get boosted now!’ Brits to be alerted with messages encouraging Covid jabs on Boxing Day

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The move comes as the UK continues to witness a spike in the daily number of Covid infections. On Friday, a total of 122,186 fresh cases of Covid were reported across the UK.

The mass messages will be sent out widely on Sunday as part of the “Get Boosted Now” campaign, as efforts continue to vaccinate all over-18s by the end of the year.

The message reads: “Get boosted now. Every adult needs a COVID-19 booster vaccine to protect against Omicron.

“Get your COVID-19 vaccine or booster. See NHS website for details.”

More than 32 million booster and third doses have already been administered.

Health Secretary Sajid Javid said: “We are texting this Boxing Day for all eligible adults to get boosted now.

“It has never been as important to get protected with the booster, so whether it is in between turkey sandwiches or before the Boxing Day fixtures, whatever your traditions make the booster a part of them this year.

“Millions of vaccine slots are available through the festive calendar so if you’re not boosted and you get this text, take up the offer and get vaccinated.”

Hamish MacLeod, director at Mobile UK, the trade association for UK’s mobile network operators, EE, O2, Three and Vodafone, said the networks had agreed to send a “widespread text message alert”.

READ MORE: Why is the AstraZeneca vaccine not part of the booster programme?

He added: “The Government has asked the mobile operators to deliver a widespread text message alert, and they have agreed to do this to help combat the national pandemic.”

Friday’s figures on the booster roll-out showed a dip in demand, with 605,561 booster vaccinations – down significantly from the 840,038 record on Thursday despite efforts to continue giving jabs over the festive period.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures suggest that the lowest third dose and booster take-up among people aged 50 and over in England was in the Pakistani (42.2 percent), black Caribbean (44.4 percent) and black African (45.4 percent) groups.

More than a quarter of people of black Caribbean ethnicity are estimated to not have received a first Covid vaccine dose up to December 12 – the highest proportion of all ethnic groups, the ONS said.

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Some vaccine centres will stay open on Christmas Day as part of the scramble to offer all over-18s a jab before the end of the year.

NHS England has said around 200,000 appointments for an extra dose are still available across the country over the festive period.

Dr Emily Lawson, head of the NHS Covid-19 vaccination programme, said: “The best gift you can give your loved ones this Christmas is to get vaccinated, and with many sites continuing to deliver vaccines over the festive period it has never been easier to get your first, second or booster jab – so please come forward as soon as you can and get protected against coronavirus this winter.”



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