It is a nightmare before Christmas. Some 140,000 covid cases in London were recorded in the week to December 19, more than three times as many as in the first week of the month. These are official cases only — the true figure of infections is estimated to be significantly higher.
Vaccination — and in particular those critical booster shots — remain our best tool in this pandemic, by reducing the risk of hospitalisation and death. It protects the individual, those around you, our NHS, our children’s education and the economy.
Yet the capital — the epicentre of Britain’s Omicron outbreak — is lagging behind the rest of the country when it comes to boosters. Just a third of Londoners have received their third dose, compared with half in England.
This is on top of already worrying data, which shows that one-third of eligible adults in London have not had a single dose. The Omicron variant has rapidly become the dominant strain. It is vastly more transmissible and better able to evade the defences of a person with only two doses — which is why getting that booster jab is so critical.
The unvaccinated are filling up hospitals, putting immense pressure on our health service during what would in any other year already be facing its winter crisis.
It has never been more important to get vaccinated.