Coronavirus

Health leaders are reminding people that currently COVID boosters are only available to those aged 40 and over and patients with health conditions that mean COVID will make them seriously ill.

There is also still a six-month gap between the second dose of the vaccine and a booster.

This is the same position across the country as we await implementation of the new JCVI guidance announced on Monday, November 29, that booster jabs will be available for all adults soon.

“We would urge everyone who is currently eligible to have or book their COVID booster to do so as soon as possible,” said Geoff Barnes, Acting Director of Public Health in North East Lincolnshire.

“These are mainly people who are aged 40 and over or have a long term health condition that makes COVID a serious risk to their health and it’s been six months since they had their second jab.

“A coronavirus (COVID-19) booster vaccine dose helps improve the protection you have from your first 2 doses of the vaccine. It helps give you longer-term protection against getting seriously ill from COVID-19.

“The NHS is currently prioritising those most at risk from COVID and if people who are not yet eligible attend, they will have to be turned away.”

Currently only those groups of people listed below are eligible. This includes:

  • people aged 40 and over
  • people who live and work in care homes
  • frontline health and social care workers
  • people aged 16 and over with a health condition that puts them at high risk of getting seriously ill from COVID-19
  • people aged 16 and over who are a main carer for someone at high risk from COVID-19
  • people aged 16 and over who live with someone who is more likely to get infections (such as someone who has HIV, has had a transplant or is having certain treatments for cancer, lupus or rheumatoid arthritis)

The NHS will announce when the boosters are ready for healthy people aged under 40 or the period of time between the 2nd dose and booster changes.

A coronavirus outbreak has been declared at Lincat Limited in Lincoln and it is understood that around 40 employees are infected or self-isolating.

Several people close to the situation contacted The Lincolnite claiming not enough measures were put in place and that staff have been advised to “continue as normal”.

However, when we contacted the company for a statement of response we were told that nobody was available to comment.

The council’s health bosses say that the business has been taking all necessary precautions to avoid further transmission.

Natalie Liddle, Acting Head of Service – Health Protection at Lincolnshire County Council, said: “We can confirm that our health protection team has been supporting this workplace with their outbreak.

“The setting has been very proactive in managing this outbreak and are currently taking all necessary precautions to avoid further transmission”.

Industrial catering and foodservice equipment company Lincat Limited was formed on Station Road in Lincoln in 1971. It moved to a new factory on Whisby Road in 1997, which was expanded to 100,000 square feet in 2001, and the company is still based there today.

Face coverings are once again be made compulsory in shops and on public transport from Tuesday, November 30 — but pubs and restaurants are exempt for now.

The Prime Minister announced the new, temporary measures to respond to emergence of UK cases of the Omicron COVID variant, with the first two cases in Nottingham and Chelmsford.

The government said the measures are precautionary, and will be reviewed in three weeks. MPs are due to vote on confirming the measures after they come into force.

The other significant change affects international travellers, with everyone entering the UK (other than those coming from the Common Travel Area that covers the Channel Islands and Ireland) will have to take a PCR test by the end of the second day after their arrival and self-isolate until they receive a negative result.

Travel restrictions have already been implemented to slow the spread of the variant. From Sunday, November 28, South Africa, Botswana, Lesostho, Eswatini, Zimbabwe and Namibi, Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia, and Angola were added to the UK’s travel red list.

About COVID-19 Omicron

The Omicron variant contains a large number of spike protein mutations as well as mutations in other parts of the viral genome.

Early indications suggest this variant may be more transmissible than the Delta variant and current vaccines may be less effective against it.

A rapid rise in infections in South Africa has been attributed to the spread of this new variant of COVID-19.

Health secretary: “plans as normal for Christmas”

Sajid Javid told Sky News’ Trevor Phillips On Sunday it would be “irresponsible to make guarantees” but the measures announced this week in reaction to the Omicron variant will “buy us time” to enable scientists to assess it.

“People should continue with their plans as normal for Christmas, I think it’s going to be a great Christmas,” he said.

But Mr Javid said the country was “nowhere near” reintroducing measures such as working from home or social distancing, arguing that they carry a “heavy price” economically, socially and in terms of mental health.

He added that he was expecting the government’s vaccines advisers to advise him “imminently” on broadening the booster programme to younger age groups.

+ More stories