Tens of thousands of people in Brighton and Hove have had a booster dose of the coronavirus vaccine in the past week, according to new figures.
The booster jab campaign has been scaled up in recent days amid concern over the spread of the omicron variant, with daily covid-19 cases reaching record numbers.
But while the Prime Minister Boris Johnson has ruled out bringing in new restrictions in England before Christmas, tougher rules could be in force by the new year to try to protect the NHS.
Data from the UK coronavirus dashboard showed that at least 24,735 people in Brighton and Hove had had a booster or third vaccine dose in the week to Monday (20 December).
The figure is the latest available and indicated a doubling of the 11,360 extra jabs given the previous week.
In the latest seven-day period, the busiest day was Monday when 3,998 people locally had a booster jab – the highest number since the NHS started the booster jab campaign in mid-September.
A total of 108,413 people in Brighton and Hove had received a booster or third dose by Monday – at least 37 per cent of those aged 12 and over.
They were among the 29.9 million people across Britain to have received an extra vaccine dose as of Monday – up from 24.1 million a week earlier.
The Prime Minister said yesterday (Tuesday 21 December) that there was not enough evidence to justify tougher coronavirus restrictions before Christmas.
But he added that further measures after Christmas could not be ruled out.
In a video message, Mr Johnson said: “There is no doubt that omicron continues to surge with a speed unlike anything we’ve seen before.
“The situation remains extremely difficult but I also recognise that people have been waiting to hear whether their Christmas plans are going to be affected.
“What I can say is that naturally we can’t rule out any further measures after Christmas – and we’re going to keep a constant eye on the data and we’ll do whatever it takes to protect public health.”
He urged people to “drop everything” if they have yet to have a vaccine.
His comments came after the Chancellor Rishi Sunak offered a £1 billion support package to hospitality and leisure businesses hit by covid restrictions amid concerns over the high transmission of omicron.
The additional help includes one-off grants of up to £6,000 per premises for businesses in the affected sectors in England.
The grants look likely to be administered locally by Brighton and Hove City Council and to be available in the coming weeks.