CHILDREN in the UK will be able to reserve their second coronavirus vaccine from today, the NHS has announced.
In order to protect as many people as possible against the Omicron variant, 12-15 year olds can now reserve their second jab.
Eligible 12-15 year olds will be able to manifest if they received their first dose 12 weeks ago.
This age group began receiving their vaccines in September, following guidance from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunization (JCVI).
So far, 1.5 million children have received a first dose of their vaccine, and more than 5,000 schools have been visited to administer the vaccines.
In the UK, more than 51 million people received a first dose, 47 million received a second and 28 million requested their booster vaccine.
Covid cases have skyrocketed last week as the Omicron variant takes over from Delta.
The strain now accounts for around 60% of cases in the UK.
The Sun is also urging readers to sign up for the Jabs Army campaign to make deployment as smooth and swift as possible.
A booster is the best protection against Omicron, with early data suggesting it bumps efficiency up to 75%.
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UKHSA Executive Director Dr Jenny Harries said: “Once again we urge all who are in a position to get a booster to come forward and do so. This is the best defense we have against this new, highly transmissible variant. “
The latest infection figures show that Omicron infections have increased by 12,133 – now totaling 37,101 to date.
Meanwhile, an additional 82,886 laboratory-confirmed Covid-19 cases have been reported – the number is a slight drop from Saturday’s figure of 90,418.
And the government said 45 more people died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19.
Separate figures released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show that there have now been 172,000 registered deaths in the UK where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate.
More than 75,000 children are eligible for a second coronavirus vaccine and doctors are urging parents to make sure their children are booked over the Christmas holidays.
Young people can get immunized through existing school immunization services or by booking through the national reservation service to visit an immunization site outside of school hours.
The second doses will be offered in schools until January 10.
Parents and guardians are encouraged to visit vaccination sites with their children if they are bitten outside of school hours and consent will be requested on the same day.
NHS Medical Director Professor Stephen Powis said: ‘As schools start to close for Christmas, and with the new threat of the Omicron variant, protecting your child has never been more important.
“More than 1.3 million young people have already accepted their vaccine offer and now that they become eligible – 12 weeks after their first dose – they can book online and get vaccinated at sites across the country.
“NHS staff are doing their utmost to get everyone who is eligible vaccinated, with more pop-up clinics and extended hours, so it’s critical that people play their part by showing up as soon as possible to be protected. “
The most recent figures on the infection and the news that children can get a second hit come after Health Secretary Sajid Javid warned of the possibility of a grim Christmas lockdown – despite a enormous pressure on the blows.
Sajid Javid said there were “no guarantees” when asked about a festive crackdown – despite Boris Johnson insisting he would not shut down the country.
Speaking on the BBC’s Andrew Marr show on Sunday, he said: “There are no guarantees in this pandemic. At this point we just have to keep everything under control.”
Scientists have warned, however, that a circuit breaker lockout is now needed in order to curb the spread.
Advisors are calling for indoor socializing to be banned before Christmas to combat the spiraling spread of Omicron.
Sage members have told the government that waiting until after December 25 to impose Covid measures is not an option if ministers are to prevent the NHS from being overwhelmed.
They expect more than 3,000 hospitalizations a day in January, with infections and daily deaths on the rise.
The group held emergency talks on Thursday to discuss the looming crisis.
A dramatic shutdown of non-essential stores could also be part of the measures implemented by the government – in a reminder to restrictions in March 2020.
Meeting minutes, released on Saturday, revealed indoor mixing is “the greatest risk factor” for viral transmission.
He also suggested “reducing group sizes, increasing physical distance, reducing contact times and closing high-risk premises” to curb the spread – despite the rapid roll-out of booster vaccines.