Mad scramble for booster jabs as walk-in centres hit by huge queues

HUGE queues have built up outside jabs hubs as Brits try to get their booster vaccinations today – while the NHS website has crashed under the strain.

Following Boris Johnson's dire warnings on Omicron during a national address last night, millions of eligible adults are now waiting for their next inoculation.



And many have already visited pop-up centres in a bid to get the shot before Christmas.

At St Thomas' Hospital in central London, a two-hour queue snakes around several streets before ending on Westminster Bridge.

Those heading online to book the jab have had issues since 8pm last night, with some saying it's "harder than getting Glastonbury tickets".

After being placed in a 'queue', many users found they were unable to access the booking form at all.

The site also showed repeated error messages and 'bad gateway requests'.

NHS England has advised those struggling to try again later today or on Tuesday.

In a statement, the health service said: "The Covid vaccine booking service is currently facing extremely high demand so is operating a queuing system.

🔵 Read our Omicron live blog for the latest updates

"For users aged 18-29, please be aware that booking opens on Wednesday, Dec 15.

"For all others experiencing waits, we would advise trying again later today or tomorrow."

Meanwhile, lateral flow home test kits are unavailable on the Government website, with anyone trying to get hold of one told to "try again later" or visit a testing site.

It comes after the PM vowed to make sure all eligible adults get the booster jab this month as part of a "national mission" to beat the mutation.

In a major announcement, he revealed the launch of the Omicron Emergency Boost – giving everyone over the age of 18 the chance to get a third jab by the end of the year.

He warned that two doses of the jab are "simply not enough" to give the "level of protection we all need" as he implored people to get their boosters.

The Army will be drafted in and clinic hours extended to help dose 18million people by January 1 – nearly a million a day.

Mr Johnson warned of a "tidal wave" of Covid that could overwhelm the NHS and cause "very many deaths".

Data shows boosters offer up to 75 per cent protection from mild infection from Omicron, with The Sun relaunching our hugely successful Jabs Army campaign.

'TWO DOSES ARE NOT ENOUGH'

Health Secretary Sajid Javid warned this morning that all eligible adults should book as soon as possible.

He said: "Two doses are not enough, but three doses provide excellent protection against symptomatic infection."

Under the huge effort, more vaccination centres will open seven days a week for at least 12 hours a day. Some will be open for 24 hours a day.

The Education Secretary yesterday warned that one million Brits could have been infected with Omicron by the end of this month.

Nadhim Zahawi said: "We now a have variant so infectious, it will dominate and exponentially grow.

"You get to 1million infections by, say, the end of December.

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"One per cent [of those infected who suffer severe illness] is 10,000 people suffering severe illness in hospital.

"Three days later its 2m, three days later its 4m, three days beyond that it's 8m.

"Even if it's milder by 50 per cent than Delta, the numbers are huge."

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