By Michelle Roberts
Digital wellness editor
People 65 and implicit successful England are being urged to get a top-up booster vaccine against Covid astatine a clip erstwhile much radical are coming into hospitals with the virus.
Those who are eligible tin publication via the NHS website, connected the NHS app, oregon by calling 119.
The rollout has been brought guardant arsenic a precaution against a highly mutated caller Covid variant called BA.2.86.
While infirmary numbers are up, intensive attraction (ICU) ones are low.
Although the microorganism is mutating and changing, the vaccines inactive supply bully extortion against getting precise sick with Covid, accidental experts.
How overmuch Covid is determination around?
Testing for Covid has been massively scaled back, making it hard to cognize however galore radical successful the UK mightiness person it.
The continued emergence successful infirmary rates implicit caller weeks suggests the microorganism is apt to beryllium circulating much wide among the population.
Hospital admissions of patients investigating affirmative for Covid are present astatine the highest complaint since the extremity of April, astatine 4.6 per 100,000 people.
That is inactive beneath the level reached past wintertime - 11.8 per 100,000.
Rates stay highest among radical aged 85 and over, followed by 75 to 84-year-olds.
Last autumn, each over-50s were offered a Covid booster, but the government's advisers connected vaccines recommended that lone over-65s and different "vulnerable groups" should beryllium included automatically this year.
For astir people, catching Covid, portion unpleasant, is little risky. Past Covid infections and vaccines person trained the immune strategy to halt terrible illness, adjacent if it cannot halt infection.
What is the caller BA.2.86 Covid variant?
It is simply a spin-off of Omicron. From the information the UK gathers, it does not look to person taken disconnected successful a large mode yet. There person been 37 cases recorded truthful acold successful England, portion Scotland has recorded 5 cases.
Experts are keeping a ticker connected it and accidental it is excessively aboriginal to marque predictions oregon gully conclusions.
Steve Russell, NHS manager for vaccinations and screening, said: "The caller Covid variant presents a caller risk, but NHS unit are rising to the situation erstwhile much to bash each they tin to support the public.
"Vaccines are our champion extortion against flu and Covid-19, and I powerfully promote each eligible radical to travel guardant for their life-saving wintertime vaccines arsenic soon arsenic they can."
Dr Gavin Dabrera, from the UK Health Security Agency, said determination had been a continued summation successful Covid cases successful the past week. He added: "While infirmary admissions person besides continued to rise, ICU admissions stay debased and stable. We volition proceed to show rates closely."
GP practices and different section NHS services volition besides beryllium contacting radical to connection some flu and Covid vaccines, and radical tin publication the flu vaccine by searching online for a section pharmacy.