Millions to get Covid jabs from TODAY after fears over Pirola variant sparks early rollout

MILLIONS of Brits will receive their Covid vaccinations from today amid fears the new ‘Pirola’ variant will surge as school term starts.

Vaccines will be distributed to nursing home residents and people who are homebound before other vulnerable groups are invited.

Millions of Brits will begin being vaccinated against Covid from today, with care home residents and housebound people receiving their jabs first


Millions of Brits will begin being vaccinated against Covid from today, with care home residents and housebound people receiving their jabs firstPhoto credit: AFP

The rollout was brought forward due to the emergence of the heavily mutated BA.2.86 strain, which caused an outbreak in a house in Norwich.

Health chiefs told The Sun that eligible Brits should get their next dose to protect themselves against the variant, especially with children now back in classrooms.

Steve Russell, from NHS England, said: “The return of schools after a summer break can often lead to a rise in infections among children.”

“With the outbreak of the most worrying variant since Omicron, it is important that those eligible for a Covid vaccination protect themselves and the young people in their lives.

“The NHS is accelerating preparations for the rollout of the Covid vaccination program in the autumn. So if you are eligible, it is important to book in for your vaccination when you are invited.

“Not only does it reduce your risk of becoming seriously ill, but it also reduces the likelihood that you will pass the disease on to a loved one.”

There have been 34 confirmed cases of Pirola in England, five patients have been hospitalized but there have been no deaths.

Experts at Britain’s Health Security Agency say the strain is currently spreading across the country, but they don’t know whether it will be worse than Omicron.

The winter vaccination program has been brought forward from October to address concerns while scientists study the strain.

Vaccinations will be offered to everyone over 65, people in clinical risk groups and frontline health and social care workers in the coming weeks.

Dr. Mary Ramsay from the UKHSA said: “Older people and those in clinical risk groups remain at the highest risk of severe illness from Covid-19.”

“The vaccine continues to provide the best protection against serious illness and hospitalization from Covid-19.

“Please make sure you get vaccinated when you are offered the vaccine and encourage your loved ones who are eligible to do the same.”

Russell Falcon

Russell Falcon is a USTimesPost U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Russell Falcon joined USTimesPost in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing

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