Doncaster health boss encourages people to get the booster jab to help protect against the new Omicron variant

The emergence of the new Omicron variant means the return of face masks on public transport and shops.

Thursday, 2nd December 2021, 7:47 am

In his weekly letter Dr Rupert Suckling, director for public health in Doncaster told the public they should follow the new guidance.

He said: “As I’m sure you’ll have seen in the news over the last few days, some new Covid safety guidance has been introduced by the government to try and limit transmission rates of Covid in our community.

“This is due to the emergence of the Omicron variant, with cases already detected in the UK.

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“At the moment we know little about this variant, it’s potential for serious illness or the effectiveness of our vaccines against it, what we do know is that it has the capacity to spread very rapidly.

“With that in mind, the government has introduced these new measures to help provide time for us to better understand the Omicron variant and the impact it could have.”

One of the new rules came into effect on Tuesday, November 30 - the re-introduction of mandatory face masks in shops and on public transport.

The government is also ramping up the booster jab initiative.

Rupert said: “The booster programme is now being accelerated, with anyone over the age of 18 being offered one and the gap between your second jab and booster cut down to three months.

“Vaccination is our first, and most important, line of defence against this virus.

“The data is clear that the vaccines greatly reduce the chances of serious illness and break the link of transmission.

“I would encourage everyone to come forward for their booster jab when they are invited to do so.

“These new rules don’t mean much of a change to our day to day lives, but along with good hygiene and regular testing, help to balance the risks and keep everyone safe whilst we understand more about the Omicron variant.”

People are being asked to wait to be invited before they go for their booster jab and not to turn up to vaccine centres without an appointment as this could cause problems for staff who are giving others their first and second doses.

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Liam Hoden, editor.