LONDON: England will begin rolling out its fourth coronavirus vaccine shot this week, the National Health Service (NHS) announced Sunday, with millions of the country's most vulnerable people being offered jabs.
The latest booster shot will be made available to care home residents, people aged over 75 and the immunosuppressed.
Around five million people are expected to be offered the jab, and 600,000 are being invited to book their appointments next week, according to the NHS.
"Our phenomenal vaccination programme has saved countless lives and built a wall of defence which has allowed us to learn to live with COVID," Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid said:
"Following the massive success of the rollout so far, we are now offering over-75s and the most vulnerable a spring booster dose to top up their protection against this virus."
Cases are soaring once again across Britain due to a rampant Omicron variant, with around 1 in 20 people currently infected.
Hospitalisations are once again rising, but the number of people in high-dependency care remains low.
Speaking at his Conservative Party's Spring conference, Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Saturday said: "We're getting ready for the fourth jab, because we're going to need it."
Britain has been one of the world's hardest-hit countries during the pandemic, with more than 163,000 people dying after contracting the disease.
S African scientists who first identified Omicron are pointing to two other Omicron sub-variants, BA 4 and BA 5, "as...
Nearly a quarter of adults are now obese in Europe, higher than in any other region except the Americas, WHO says
Very young children are the only group that are yet to be eligible for COVID-19 vaccine in the US and in most countries
China is facing its worst outbreak since the peak of the first wave in early 2020, with eastern Shanghai recording...
Under its zero-COVID policy, China has used lockdowns, mass testing, and travel restrictions to stamp out infections
China's health commission says a four-year-old boy tested positive for the strain after being hospitalised earlier...