From this morning, over-40s in England can book their Covid booster jabs. We encourage all those eligible to do so. Boosters do not simply provide a little extra immunity, they raise protection levels above even that following a second dose.
Boosters are vital because we are not out of the Covid woods yet. London has recorded daily virus figures of above 4,000 for four consecutive days now. Meanwhile, the temperature is dropping, which is a competitive advantage for many respiratory illnesses.
One only has to look at parts of Europe heading back into lockdown to understand that this is no time for complacency. Austria, with two-thirds of its population fully vaccinated, has entered a national lockdown.
A large part of why England has so far avoided further restrictions is our high vaccination rate, with 80 per cent of people double-jabbed. Yet in the capital, that figure falls to 60 per cent. Moreover, there remain up to 2.7 million Londoners aged 16 or older who are yet to receive even a first dose.
The last thing London needs is another lockdown, given the damage it would wreak on our economy, schools and collective mental health. That is why we need to be using all the tools at our disposal to reduce transmission: rolling out a hyper-local approach to vaccines in those hard-to-reach areas, wearing masks on the Tube, improving ventilation in schools and administering those boosters.