Britons were today urged to step forward to get their Covid booster vaccines due to fears that recording has stalled during the party period.
Official data show that the number of people being boosted fell to just over 100,000 on Sunday, the last day vaccine information is available.
This compares to peaks of over 900,000 before Christmas, when desperate adults struggled to get deals.
Whitehall insiders claim up to 2 million jab deals are still available this week.
Asked about the current situation today, Vaccine Minister Maggie Throup blamed the low admission on holidays.
‘We can not vaccinate the planet every six months’: Oxford vaccine expert warns
Britons should not be offered a fourth Covid plug until there is more evidence, the head of the country’s vaccine body has argued.
Sir Andrew Pollard, chairman of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunization (JCVI), said giving boosters to humans every six months was ‘unsustainable’.
He said future vaccination efforts should target the most vulnerable instead of offering supplemental doses to anyone over 12 years of age.
Germany and Israel have already approved another booster jab for anyone over 60s.
But the top scientist said: ‘The future must focus on the vulnerable and make boosters or treatments available to them to protect them.
“We know that people have strong antibodies for a few months after their third vaccination, but more data is needed to assess whether, when and how often those who are vulnerable will need additional doses.
“We can not vaccinate the planet every four to six months. It is not sustainable or affordable. In the future, we must target the vulnerable. ‘
The professor, who was the lead researcher of the Oxford Covid-19 vaccine trials and director of the Oxford Vaccine Group, helped develop the AstraZeneca jab in 2020.
“We’ve just been through two weekends of holidays, and I think it’s quite clear that the numbers will change as we move forward,” she told Times Radio.
She also urged people to come forward to get their booster, adding “it’s never too late” to get the vaccine.
No10 has repeatedly called on the British to have their booster jabs with Boris Johnson and senior ministers making public appeals.
The prime minister said boosters were crucial for the country to stick to its current plan in dealing with Covid.
The government has already boasted that it achieved its goal of offering third jabs to all eligible over 18s before New Year’s Day. But still, only 59.5 percent of adults have received all three doses.
However, the actual number of booster vaccines distributed has drastically decreased, according to official figures.
Only 240,000 top-up jabs are being distributed every day across the UK at the moment – compared to peak values of 875,000 in the week leading up to Christmas.
However, daily numbers dropped to as low as 10,000 on December 25 even because only a handful of vaccination centers were open.
The declining footage comes as recent figures show that 157,758 Covid cases were recorded yesterday, an increase of 44.6 percent over the week before.
Rising case numbers may also play a role in the sluggish rollout, as people have to wait 28 days after being tested positive to be eligible for a jab.
The importance of getting a booster was highlighted by a Covid surveillance update from the UK Health Safety Agency last week.
It revealed that 608 out of 815 inpatients affected by the ultra-infectious variant were not tripled. A quarter were unvaccinated.
With regard to the current Covid situation, Mrs Throup said the government was keeping a close eye on data, particularly with regard to hospital admissions.
‘We are constantly looking at the data regarding hospital admissions … people who have actually tested positive and also the number of people in the high-dependency units.
‘I think at the moment, if you look at people who have been hospitalized, they go in with less serious conditions than before.
There has been a huge reduction in the number of Britons signing up for a Covid booster since Christmas official figures show
‘And the number that is in hospital beds is about half of what it was a year ago, and it just shows the power of the vaccine.’
But NHS executives have warned that the biggest challenge for many hospitals is ‘increasing staff absenteeism’ rather than the number of patients with Covid.
One in 10 NHS employees was on sick leave on New Year’s Eve due to illness, according to official figures – but less than half had Covid, corresponding to less than 50,000 of the 110,000 not in work.
Chris Hopson, president of NHS Providers, said staff absenteeism had a greater impact than during last January’s Covid wave.
He tweeted: ‘The staff is completely out, especially considering the level of staff absenteeism. We will have to ask them to perform flexible hero maturations again if the number of hospital Covid continues to rise. We can not continue to do this. ‘
Other sectors, such as railways and waste collection, are also facing disruptions due to the number of workers to be quarantined.