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Prime Minister Boris Johnson Booster has announced that jabs will be offered to everyone over 18 in England from this week, as he declared an "Omicron emergency".

In a TV statement, he said that "no one should be in any doubt, there is a tidal wave of Omicron coming". The target to vaccinate all adults by the end of January, he said, will be brought forward by a month – with some medical appointments may also be postponed to focus on boosters.

Providing expert opinion on issues relating to the Omicron variant, Professor Adam Cunningham, Professor of Functional Immunity at the University of Birmingham, said: “All the evidence points towards large numbers of people becoming infected with Omicron all across the globe.

“Because of this, there are additional concerns about Omicron that this is just the starting point for more variants to emerge, potentially maintaining its high levels of transmissibility but with maybe greater virulence.

The City of Wolverhampton Council is to recruit a 'roving' team of social workers to help further improve support for vulnerable children, young people and families. Members of Cabinet (Resources) Panel have approved the recruitment of a peripatetic team of nine social workers who will cover temporary vacancies across the council’s statutory social work teams.

This will reduce the council's reliance on agency workers and enable temporary posts to be filled in a timely manner.

Early signs suggest the Omicron Covid variant is more transmissible than the current Delta strain, No. 10 has said. But the prime minister's official spokesman added it was still too early to draw conclusions - and any impact caused by Omicron would also depend on whether it caused severe illness.

There are currently 437 confirmed cases of Omicron in the UK, figures show. Earlier, Wales' health minister said they were expecting a significant wave of Omicron that would peak in January.

A leading mental health and wellbeing charity has supported West Bromwich Albion Football Club to develop its Mental Health and Wellbeing strategy which was launched by the club earlier this month.

The Kaleidoscope Plus Group has worked with the club to devise its strategy, which aims to support and promote the welfare of its staff and volunteers and will provide Mental Health First Aid Training as well as ongoing advice and support.

There is community transmission of the Omicron coronavirus variant in multiple regions of England, Health Secretary Sajid Javid has confirmed. He told MPs that the variant was continuing to spread - both in the UK and around the world - and there were now cases here with no links to international travel.

There have been 336 confirmed cases of the highly-mutated variant across the UK, he said, a rise of 90 from Sunday. There are concerns about how Omicron could interact with current vaccines.

The Black Country-based charity (which runs nine leisure facilities for Sandwell Council across the borough) part converted two of its sites to approved vaccination centres at the start of the pandemic - Portway Lifestyle Centre in Oldbury and Tipton Sports Academy – and just between them they have delivered in excess of 160,000 of the *400,000+ jabs administered across Sandwell to date.

There are many common respiratory viruses seen in children, which most will have had by the time they turn two. However, with the reduction in transmission of viral infections last year, there is an increasing number of young children who have never been exposed to these common viruses.

This can lead to bronchiolitis, an infection of the lower airways that can make the airways inflamed and mucusy.

Staff at The Priory and Edgbaston Hospitals in Birmingham have been recognised for the vital work they did to deliver lifesaving treatment to cancer patients during the pandemic. The prestigious ‘Hospital Group’ award is presented to an organisation that has shown excellence in its delivery of care, in addition to innovation and transformation in challenging circumstances.  

Africa’s sharp increase in diabetes is clashing with the COVID-19 pandemic and poor access to vaccines. Africa’s death rates from COVID-19 infections are significantly higher in patients with diabetes, according to a preliminary analysis which the World Health Organization (WHO) presented in advance of the World Diabetes Day.

“COVID-19 is delivering a clear message: fighting the diabetes epidemic in Africa is in many ways as critical as the battle against the current pandemic,” said Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa.

At the Kingston Public Hospital, Rupert Dixon appeared to be on the mend. He was recovering from two hospitalizations and a surgery after taking the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine. But things took a turn for the worse in the days after - when Mr. Dixon died of a stroke.

His death certificate stated that thrombosis, after taking the Covid-19 vaccine, contributed to his death. Before the vaccine, 68-year-old Rupert Dixon said he’d never been ill.

South Africa has complained it is being punished - instead of applauded - for discovering Omicron, a concerning new variant of Covid-19.

The foreign ministry made the statement as countries around the world restricted travel from southern Africa as details of the spread emerged. Early evidence suggests Omicron has a higher re-infection risk.

With Boris Johnson announcing new travel and face mask rules in response to two cases of the omicron variant being identified in the UK, the PM said that, from today, people must wear masks in shops and on public transport. This morning, we sought the views of small business owners around the UK.

Dr Jackie Mulligan, Founder at, says: "I think the reintroduction of travel and face mask rules is the right decision.

Only 27% of health workers in Africa have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, leaving the bulk of the workforce on the frontlines against the pandemic unprotected, a preliminary analysis by World Health Organisation (WHO) shows.

Analysis of data reported from 25 countries finds that since March 2021, 1.3 million health workers were fully vaccinated, with just six countries reaching more than 90%, while nine countries have fully vaccinated less than 40%. In sharp contrast, a recent WHO global study of 22 mostly high-income countries reported that above 80% of their health and care workers are fully vaccinated.