UK: According to the BBC, the United Kingdom, which has seen a dramatic surge in Omicron cases, has declared a “emergency” and chosen to begin booster doses for everyone over the age of 18 this week.
Remarks by UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson
In a TV statement on Sunday evening, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson was cited as saying, “I’m afraid we’re now facing an emergency in our war with the new mutation Omicron.” “There should be no doubt in anyone’s mind that an Omicron tidal wave is on its way.”
“It is now evident that two vaccine doses are simply insufficient to provide the kind of protection we all require,” he continued. The good news is that our scientists are certain that by adding a third dose, a booster dose, we will all be able to restore our level of protection.”
According to Johnson, experts are still unsure if the Omicron variation caused fewer or more severe symptoms than the Delta form. “However, we already know it is so much more transmissible that a wave of Omicron through an unboosted population would risk a level of hospitalisation that would overload our NHS (National Health Service — UK’s public healthcare system) and result in unfortunately many deaths,” he continued.
Johnson made his remarks on the same day that the UK upped its coronavirus alert level to four, the second highest level. This corresponds to a point in the epidemic when the pathogen’s transmission is regarded to be extremely high or exponentially increasing. The United Kingdom had been on alert level three until recently.
According to the BBC, hospitalizations due to the Omicron variety are already occurring in the UK and are “expected to increase.”
Research on the booster dose
Meanwhile, according to the news agency Reuters, Israeli researchers have discovered a significant increase in protection against the Omicron version of the novel coronavirus in persons who have received a third dosage of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine.