Sajid Javid

Sajid Javid says the UK is facing a 'challenging winter'
The health secretary has urged elderly and vulnerable people to get their COVID-19 booster jabs "as soon as you can" to help avoid restrictions being imposed over Christmas.

Around 30% of people aged over 80 and 40% of over-50s in England are yet to receive a top-up jab of the coronavirus vaccine, according to the Department of Health.

Three million more people in England are being invited to have a booster shot next week - and Sajid Javid said he "strongly urges" everybody eligible for the jab to take up the offer.

The health secretary said: "We know immunity begins to wane after six months, especially for the elderly and the vulnerable, and booster vaccines will top-up their protection to keep people safe over the winter.

"I strongly urge everybody who is eligible for a COVID-19 booster or flu vaccine to take up the offer as soon as you can.

"For those not yet eligible, please help your parents, grandparents or vulnerable loved ones get their jabs - it could save their life."

Mr Javid also told anyone who is yet to have their first or second doses of the COVID vaccine, "it is not too late".