PM Boris Johnson says UK in 'incomparably better' position heading into 2022 thanks to COVID-19 vaccine programme
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Boris Johnson has used his New Year’s message to claim that the UK finds itself in an “incomparably better” position than this time last year when it comes to coronavirus.

In a message that will be posted on social media on Friday, the prime minister will say the country has met its target of offering all adults the chance to get a COVID-19 booster jab by the end of the year.

Seven in 10 eligible adults in England have now received their boosters, Mr Johnson will confirm, with an extra eight million jabs administered since the target was brought forward on 12 December.

“Whatever the challenges that fate continues to throw in our way and whatever the anxieties we may have about the weeks and months ahead, particularly about Omicron and the growing numbers in hospitals, we can say one thing with certainty, our position this 31 December is incomparably better than last year,” the PM will say.

Mr Johnson will also hail the UK’s economic performance, saying that the “overriding reason” why the UK has been able to “maintain the most open economy and society of any major European economy” is due to its vaccine rollout.

“The British people have responded heroically, voluntarily, and in almost incredible numbers to the call to get vaccinated,” the PM will declare.

“And as I speak tonight on New Year’s Eve, we’ve met our target, we’ve doubled the speed of the booster roll out.

“And it’s precisely because of that huge national effort that we can celebrate tonight at all.”

But, with the continuing spread of the Omicron variant, he urges people to be careful with how they celebrate the dawn of 2022,

Mr Johnson, who has so far declined to introduce further restrictions to tackle the variant, will say: “Though I must of course urge everyone to be cautious and to take a test if you are going out and to remember the importance of ventilation.

“And it’s precisely because of that huge national effort that we can celebrate tonight at all.”

But, with the continuing spread of the Omicron variant, he urges people to be careful with how they celebrate the dawn of 2022,

Mr Johnson, who has so far declined to introduce further restrictions to tackle the variant, will say: “Though I must of course urge everyone to be cautious and to take a test if you are going out and to remember the importance of ventilation.

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