New Covid guidance for vulnerable Brits issued hours before Christmas Day as Omicron levels surge
NEW advice was issued to the clinically vulnerable just hours before Christmas.
The Government updated its guidance to Brits at heightened risk from COVID as cases soar across the country.
A string of hugely positive studies show Omicron IS milder than other strains, with the first official UK report revealing the risk of hospitalisation is 50 to 70 per cent lower than with Delta.
Covid booster jabs protect against Omicron and offer the best chance to get through the pandemic, health officials have repeatedly said.
The Sun's Jabs Army campaign is helping get the vital extra vaccines in Brits' arms to ward off the need for any new restrictions.
Those who are at greater risk will not be asked to shield again but extra precautions have been issued to avoid getting sick.
The advice states: "If you have not yet received the Covid-19 vaccine, you should get vaccinated.
"Evidence indicates that 2 doses of a Covid-19 vaccine provide very effective protection against hospitalisation.
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"It usually takes around 2 to 3 weeks for your body to develop its protective response.
"To maintain this high level of protection through the coming winter, you should also get a booster vaccine for Covid-19 when offered."
The Government asked considerations to be made about the vaccination status of the company they keep this Christmas.
It suggested: "You might want to wait until 14 days after everyone’s most recent dose of a Covid-19 vaccine before being in close contact with others."
Other advice recommends asking friends and family to take a rapid lateral flow antigen test before visiting you, asking home visitors to wear face coverings and avoiding enclosed crowded spaces.
COVID has ruined Christmas for 122,186 unlucky Brits who have today tested positive and now face self-isolation.
Total Omicron infections hit 114,625 as scientists offer a ray of festive hope, suggesting the new variant is milder than those that came before it.
Boris Johnson is to decide on Monday what measures are needed to tackle the Omicron Covid strain with questions remaining over New Year’s Eve.
But tougher lockdown restrictions could last until the spring under one scenario proposed by government scientists.
This includes banning indoor mixing of households, with the rule-of-six outdoors – from either December 28 or January 1, lasting until January 15, 28 or March 28.
The MS Society represents many immunosuppressed people in the UK and has spoken out against the Department of Health and Social Care for the message's timing.
The organisation's policy manager Fredi Cavander-Attwood said: “For weeks, the rapidly rising number of Omicron cases has left people who are at higher risk from Covid-19 increasingly anxious.
"Today’s new guidance – despite being released late on Christmas Eve and arguably unlikely to be seen by those who need to – crucially acknowledges people who are immunosuppressed and less protected by vaccines, which includes some people living with MS."
She said many people will already be taking the steps outlined to protect themselves.
"What the Government must now do is ensure they act when their guidance isn’t working, especially around employment."
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