BRITS are set for a 'challenging' time this winter and everyone eligible should come forward for their Covid booster jabs, the Chancellor has urged.
Infections are continuing to rise across the UK and delivering his Budget speech this afternoon, Rishi Sunak said the government is trying to repair the economy post-Covid.
Addressing MPs today in the House of Commons, Mr Sunak said: "Today’s Budget does not draw a line under Covid; we have challenging months ahead.
"And let me encourage everyone eligible to get their booster jabs right away. But today’s Budget does begin the work of preparing for a new economy post Covid."
As part of the 2021 Budget, Mr Sunak also announced plans to ease the fuel supply shortage and confirmed £435million in a crime blitz package.
He also added that Covid hadn't just been an economic challenge, but that it had also been a moral challenge too as many tough decisions had to be made during the course of the pandemic.
All Brits eligible for their boosters have been urged to come forward with The Sun previously having launched its Give Britain a Booster campaign.
The NHS has now given a booster to half of eligible people aged 50 and over.
Getting a third vaccine shot will ensure you have the optimal level of protection against Covid this winter.
Dr Nikki Kanani, NHS deputy vaccination programme lead, said: “The booster is not a nice to have – it is really important you come forward for yours as soon as you become eligible.”
Earlier this week it was reported that a further 1.5million booster jabs had been administered in just five days due to The Sun's campaign.
Booster jabs are needed as immunity in the vulnerable and those who had their vaccines early on is now starting to wane.
The booster vaccines will make sure that people are protected during the winter months as cases continue to increase throughout the population.
There were fears that the rollout out was slowing – but the NHS says it is now even faster than the original vaccine rollout.
Data from Israel suggests boosters can increase protection to more than 95 per cent.
Mr Sunak's plea for Brits to get their booster jabs comes as the latest infection data shows that a further 40,954 people were recorded to have tested positive with the bug yesterday.
Another 263 fatalities were also confirmed – the highest figure in eight months.
DON'T BLOW IT
Professor Anthony Harnden, deputy chairman of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), said the UK is making "really good progress" but urged people "not to throw it all away" and to get a booster jab when invited to do so.
Asked whether the UK is "on top of the virus now", Prof Harnden told Sky News: "I don't think so yet; I think we're winning the battle in this country and I think the vaccines are winning the battle – though infection rates are really quite high at the moment, actually death rates are relatively low compared to what they were in the first and second wave."
Growing concerns that the government will have to implement Plan B restrictions have continued this week with increasing infections.
However Prime Minister Boris Johnson was warned triggering the backup plan would cost the economy up to an eye-watering £18 billion over the winter.
And the PM is reluctant to bring back masks and working from home and imposing vaccine passports over the sky-high cost to businesses.
He's also been warned by scientists that those measures might only make a marginal impact on the spread of the virus anyway.
Anyone eligible for a booster who is 190 days on from their second dose can go online and book through NHS Digital’s booking service or call 119 if they need extra support with their booking.
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