Boris Johnson has said the UK is in an “incomparably better” position than this time last year as he used a New Year’s message to announce the country had met its target to offer all adults the chance to get a booster vaccine by the end of the year.
The Prime Minister will say, in a message posted on social media on Friday, that seven in 10 eligible adults in England have now received their booster jabs, with an extra eight million vaccines delivered since the target was bought forward on December 12.
But he said those celebrating New Year’s Eve still needed to be cautious.
He will say: “Whatever the challenges that fate continues to throw in our way and whatever the anxieties we may have about the weeks and months ahead, particularly about Omicron and the growing numbers in hospitals, we can say one thing with certainty, our position this December 31 is incomparably better than last year.”
He will reference the UK’s economic growth, and say the response to the call to get vaccinated allowed the country to “maintain the most open economy and society of any major European economy”.
Mr Johnson will say: “And as I speak tonight on New Year’s Eve, we’ve met our target, we’ve doubled the speed of the booster rollout, and it’s precisely because of that huge national effort that we can celebrate tonight at all.
“Though I must of course urge everyone to be cautious and to take a test if you are going out and to remember the importance of ventilation.
“Follow the rules if you are in Scotland or Wales or Northern Ireland.
“And I want to speak directly to all those who have yet to get fully vaccinated.
“The people who think the disease can’t hurt them, look at the people going into hospital now, that could be you.
“Look at the intensive care units and the miserable, needless suffering of those who did not get their booster, that could be you.
“So, make it your New Year’s resolution, far easier than losing weight or keeping a diary, find a walk-in centre or make an online appointment.”