Booster target

Sterling weakens as PM warns of Omicron ‘tidal wave’

A new target has been set for booster jabs (pic: Terry Murden)

Sterling extended losses in early London trading after Boris Johnson warned of a “tidal wave” of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus.

The pound fell 0.4% to $1.3225, while it was broadly steady against the euro at 85.29 pence.

Younger people are being urged to get the booster injection as the Prime Minister warned that some medical appointments may have to be postponed to deal with a “tidal wave” of Omicron”.

A new booster target means people aged 18 will be able to get their third jabs from this week – as long as it has been three months since their second dose.

Early data shows that getting a third booster dose prevents about 75% of people getting any Covid symptoms from Omicron.

Scotland is aiming to offer all adults a booster by the end of the year.

Mr Johnson said in order to reach the new target, certain other medical appointments would need to be postponed to the New Year. Some GPs are already allowed to postpone routine health checks to make space for vaccinations.

He also sees the accelerated booster target as a vital weapon in minimising the impact of Omicron on the economy with many businesses already reeling from renewed work from home guidance, which is worrying the retail sector, and advice to cancel Christmas parties which has sent the hospitality sector into another tailspin.

Markets are likely to keep one eye on Omicron’s impact, though the FTSE 100 was up by more than 2% over last week.

Analysts at Goldman Sachs said: “More negative macro surprises due to impact of Covid-19 winter waves could weigh on risk appetite near-term but we think investors are likely to eventually look through those as long as expectations for healthy growth for the whole of next year remain anchored.”

Mr Johnson’s biggest challenge may be persuading the public to abide by the guidelines amid further evidence that Downing Street has broken the rules.

The Prime Minister will be encouraged by data showing more than half a million booster jabs and third doses were given in the UK on Saturday, the second day that has happened since the booster rollout began.

Scotland and Northern Ireland have already opened up boosters to over-30s – and those aged 18 to 29 in Scotland can get their booster jabs from later in the week.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked as *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.