MORE than 16,000 people in Warrington received a booster dose of the coronavirus vaccine in the past three weeks, new figures show.

It comes after scientists told the Government boosters are highly effective against hospitalisation for older adults.

Data from the UK coronavirus dashboard shows that 16,026 people received a booster or a third vaccine dose between December 20 and January 9.

This brings the total number of people in Warrington to get a third shot to 116,978.

It means 60 per cent of people aged 12 and over in the area have now had a booster, based on the number of people on the National Immunisation Management Service database.

Across the UK, 35.7million people have now had a booster or third jab – 62 per cent of over-12s.

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.

Dr Andrew Davies, clinical chief officer of NHS Warrington Clinical Commissioning Group, says the booster is a key tool in the fight against the virus.

He said: “As we head into the new year, facing another surge in cases, I urge everyone who is eligible to get vaccinated to do so and to help keep themselves as safe and well as possible.

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“The Covid-19 vaccine is the best way of protecting yourself and your loved ones from serious illness, and hospitalisation, and we know the booster is able to protect against the new variant.

“There are lots of walk-in clinics across Warrington, or you can book an appointment online, or via the text from your GP practice.”

As the highly infectious Omicron variant continues to spread, scientists are also looking into the possibility of reducing the isolation period for Covid-19 cases from seven to five days, to reduce the staffing crisis across sectors including health, education and public transport.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said England would stick to Plan B, but testing would be increased in key sectors.

Current Plan B measures include the wider wearing of face masks, the mandatory use of Covid passes for access to large venues and a return to working from home.