Covid: Push to offer booster jabs and nine Omicron cases linked to single eventon November 30, 2021 at 5:46 pm

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Five things you need to know about the coronavirus pandemic this Tuesday evening.

Here are five things you need to know about the coronavirus pandemic this Tuesday evening. We’ll have another update for you tomorrow morning.

Booster jabs will be offered to everyone who is eligible in England by the end of January, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said. They will be prioritised according to age, with the NHS working down the list in five-year bands. All UK adults will be offered a booster jab three months after their second dose of a Covid vaccine. Mr Johnson said England will have more than 1,500 community pharmacy sites and around 400 military personnel to help with the rollout.

Boris Johnson

Image source, PA Media

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Cases of the new Omicron variant of Covid-19 were present in the Netherlands earlier than previously thought, Dutch officials have said. The strain was identified in two test samples between 19 and 23 November, before it was first reported by South Africa. It is not clear whether the people who were tested had visited southern Africa. Previously it was thought that two flights from South Africa had brought the first cases of the variant on Sunday.

Image shows a woman wearing a face mask in Eindhoven

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All nine cases of Omicron in Scotland are linked to a “single private event” on 20 November, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said. She told the Scottish Parliament that all those affected had been tested on or around 23 November and had been self-isolating since then. Ms Sturgeon added the lack of any known travel or overseas connection to the cases suggested there was community transmission of the variant in Scotland and she expects more cases linked to the event to be found in the coming days.

testing

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Stock markets around the world have fallen after the boss of pharmaceutical company Moderna cast doubts on the effectiveness of vaccines against Omicron. Stephane Bancel told the Financial Times he thought there would be a “material drop” in vaccine efficacy and predicted it would take months to update them. Share price drops were seen in stock markets in the US, across Europe and in Asia over the course of Tuesday.

Moderna vaccine

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Falling numbers of vets combined with a growing number of animals to treat since the pandemic began has led to an urgent meeting by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons. An award-winning vet from Wales has told the BBC there are “more patients than we’ve ever seen” following the boom in pet-ownership, while the number of new vets is plummeting. Fewer European vets coming to Britain, more vets leaving to work abroad and others leaving the profession are all factors the urgent meeting have been told were responsible for the 700 people fewer becoming vets compared to 2019.

Dr Alex Davies

Here is an explainer on what exactly has changed with the Covid rules in the UK.

You can find more information, advice and guides on our coronavirus page.

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