Huge surge in people getting first jab as hospital admissions jump by 36%

The number of people coming forward for first and second Covid jabs soared before Christmas as hospital admissions jumped by 36%.

There was a 46% increase in first doses given in England in the week of 15 to 21 December when compared the previous seven days.

A total of 221,564 people took their first dose, just over a year after Margaret Keenan, 90, received world’s first Covid jab in Coventry.

There was also a 39% jump in second doses, with 279,112 administered in the same week as Omicron ripped through England.

The largest increase in uptake was among people aged under 30 in England.

There was an 85% increase in first doses in people aged 18 and 24, and a 71% increase in first doses among people aged 25 to 30.

Meanwhile, the 7 days up to 21 December saw more over-60s take a first dose than any seven-day period since early June.

New data comes as Boris Johnson is set to reveal whether he is imposing fresh restrictions.

England is expected to remain the only UK nation without new curbs over New Year.

Hospital admissions were up by 36% in the week to December 24 – including 62% in London and 47% in the north-west.

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But there have been no new Covid statistics released over the Christmas period – meaning data released today will finally reveal how fast Omicron is spreading.

The rise in first vaccine uptake could have been prompted by new Plan B rules brought in by the Government in December.

NHS Covid passes are now required for nightclubs and other large venues.

Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid said: ‘It has never been more vital to get your jabs and the NHS will always be there for those coming forward to protect themselves and their family. It has been excellent to see a recent surge in first and second jabs.

‘Those initial jabs lay the foundation for the booster jab to protect against Omicron – 2 doses is not enough and you need to build protection jab by jab and once eligible Get Boosted Now.

‘Millions of people have rolled up their sleeves, so let’s build on that momentum and ensure we have the protection we need this winter.’

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