The Daily Telegraph

Covid rates at 11-month low as over-65s invited for jabs

- By Sarah Knapton

CORONAVIRU­S infections have dropped to an 11-month low as the booster campaign begins in the lead-up to an expected resurgence this winter.

A total of 944,700 people in private households were estimated to be infected in the week ending Aug 21, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

It is the lowest Uk-wide total since the week to Oct 2 last year, when the number stood at 942,600, and the first time it has fallen below a million since the start of June. In the most recent wave, infections peaked at 3.8 million in early July, but have been falling since.

The autumn Covid booster campaign is under way in England and Scotland, with care home residents and staff among the first to get jabs from last week and over-65s now invited to book.

The rollout is to invite 26 million people for a dose, with the over-50s, healthcare workers and the vulnerable eligible.

The campaign will use omicron-specific jabs from Moderna and Pfizer after Britain became the first in the world to authorise a variant vaccine. Despite the falling numbers, health officials urged those eligible to come forward.

Steve Russell, the NHS director of vaccinatio­ns and screening, said: “There is no room for complacenc­y in keeping Covid on the back foot and this autumn booster will help protect those most at risk. From today those aged 65 and over, pregnant women and carers are now able to get their jab.

“If you are one of those eligible, it is as important as ever to get your next dose, so please do come forward as soon as possible.”

Dozens of hospital hubs are joining in to give the Covid jab to the public and NHS staff, plus flu jabs where possible.

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