The professions where people are least likely to be boosted

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People arrive at Manchester Rates Hall Covid vaccination centre, near St Peter's Square in Manchester, as the coronavirus booster programme continues across the UK. Picture date: Wednesday December 22, 2021.
Health professionals have the highest booster take-up, new data has revealed (PA)

Construction, building and transport workers are among those least likely to have received a booster or third dose of COVID-19 vaccine, according to figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Some 39.8% of employees in skilled construction and building trades in England have had an extra dose, along with 42.6% of plant and machine operatives and 43.9% of transport and mobile machine drivers and operatives.

People employed in what are classed as “elementary trades and related occupations” – such as packers, bottlers, industrial cleaning or farm and forestry workers – have the lowest take-up at 37.0%.

Booster rollout by occupation (Yahoo News UK/Flourish/ONS)
Booster rollout by occupation (Yahoo News UK/Flourish/ONS)
Farm and forestry workers were most likely not to have had a single vaccine dose (Yahoo News UK/Flourish/ONS)
Farm and forestry workers were most likely not to have had a single vaccine dose (Yahoo News UK/Flourish/ONS)

Read more: How to book a booster jab

These occupations also had the highest proportion of people that had not received a first jab.

Occupations with the highest take-up were health professionals at 75.3%, health and social care associate professionals at 58.7%, and those working in secretarial and related jobs at 58.4%.

The figures are based on vaccinations delivered up to 12 December for adults in England aged 40 to 64, before Boris Johnson announced the new target of offering boosters to all adults who want one by the end of the month.

This means that the figures may reflect the order in which people became eligible for a booster or third dose of vaccine, with jabs initially prioritised for older and vulnerable people before being extended to younger age groups.

It comes as Boris Johnson used his Christmas message to urge people to come forward to get a COVID booster jab as part of the “neighbourly” spirit of the season.

Watch: Boris Johnson delivers his Christmas message

Read more: Decision on COVID restrictions based on 'wider impact on society, not just hospitalisations'

In his message to the nation released on Friday, the prime minister said: “Though the time for buying presents is theoretically running out, there is still a wonderful thing you can give your family and the whole country, and that is to get that jab, whether it is your first or second, or your booster.”

He said: “We have been getting that vaccination that protects us and stops us infecting others.

“And I hope I can be forgiven for taking pride in the immense spirit of neighbourliness that the people of this country have shown.

“Getting jabbed not just for themselves, for ourselves, but for friends and family and everyone we meet.”

In Scotland, first minister Nicola Sturgeon also used her Christmas message to urge people to get vaccinated, describing the booster campaign as “a source of brightness during a really difficult month”.

New data released this week by the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) suggests that vaccination gives less protection against Omicron, although a booster jab provides more protection against symptomatic disease compared with the first two doses alone.

Analysis so far suggests the Omicron variant of the virus may be milder than others, but the high transmissibility of the variant means the NHS is still at risk due to the sheer scale of people testing positive.

Watch: People with Omicron 'less likely to be hospitalised than those with Delta'

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