More than 85,000 receive booster jab since just before Christmas

More than 85,000 people in the Black Country and Staffordshire have received a booster dose of the Covid-19 vaccine since before Christmas, new figures show.

Government data showed 85,120 people received their third jab between December 20 and January 9 – taking the total who have had a booster to 629,148 in the area.

It comes after scientists said boosters are highly effective against hospitalisation for older adults, with second booster jabs for the most vulnerable ruled out for now.

In Wolverhampton, 16,439 people received their booster jab over the three-week period. It brings the total number of people in the city to get a third shot to 112,474.

In Walsall, the figure was 15,693, and 129,142 overall. In Dudley, it was 20,599 and 169,503. In Sandwell, it was 18,247 and 135,665 – and in Stafford it was 14,142 people and 82,362 overall.

Meanwhile, data from the UK Health Security Agency shows boosters are 90 per cent effective against admission to hospital from the Omicron variant for the over-65s. Protection for those with two doses dropped to about 70 per cent after three months and to 50 per cent after six months.

Professor Wei Shen Lim, the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation’s chairman of Covid-19 immunisation, said the data emphasised the “value of a booster jab”.

He said: “The current data show the booster dose is continuing to provide high levels of protection against severe disease, even for the most vulnerable older age groups.

“For this reason, the committee has concluded there is no immediate need to introduce a second booster dose, though this will continue to be reviewed.”

As the highly infectious Omicron variant continues to spread, the amount of time people with Covid-19 in England have to spend in self-isolation is to be cut to five full days, to reduce the staffing crisis across sectors including health, education and public transport.

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