UK vaccine experts have been giving advice to the government on whether people across the country should now be offered a fourth vaccination.
The Joint Vaccination and Immunization Committee has advised the government against giving nursing home residents and anyone over the age of 80 a second booster dose or fourth vaccination.
Israel recently became the first country in the world to hand out the fourth dose and there are fears that Britain will soon have to take the same steps.
Figures from the UK Health Security Agency show that the booster vaccination for people over 65 after three months is 90% effective against hospitalization from the Omicron variant.
Protection for those on two doses decreased to about 70% after three months and to 50% after six months.
The JCVI said that the introduction of the first booster dose should continue to be a priority and that unvaccinated people should receive their first two doses as soon as possible.
It comes as the armed forces stepped in to resolve a NHS personnel crisis caused by the rapid spread of the Omicron variant.
Data from NHS England shows that on Jan. 2, 39,142 NHS employees in hospital trusts in England were absent for Covid-19 reasons, an increase of 59% from the previous week (24,632) and more than three times the number from the beginning of December (12,508).
According to the Health Service Journal (HSJ), employee absences across the NHS, including mental health trusts and other areas, for any reason, including Covid-19, can be as high as 120,000.
To close the loophole, there were around 1,800 military personnel on Friday who pledged to help with 15 pending Covid-19 requests for military aid to the civil authority (MACA).
A total of around 9,300 armed forces are on standby.
Over 740 employees are helping NHS England to introduce the booster.
In Scotland, 121 employees support the Scottish Government with an additional 100 made available last month.
The NHS personnel crisis resulted in a system-wide major incident in Northamptonshire on Friday involving health, public and emergency service executives.
The Northamptonshire Local Resilience Forum, made up of NHS organizations, local authorities, the Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service and the Northamptonshire Police issued the warning of “increasing demand for services and staffing”.
Forum Chairman, Chief Fire Officer Darren Dovey, said, “Explaining this incident is a necessary step to ensure that we can share resources when necessary, which is increasingly important as more employees need to self-isolate.”
In addition to a personnel crisis, hospitals are also facing the highest admissions from the coronavirus since last February.
According to government figures, a total of 18,454 people were hospitalized with Covid-19 in the UK as of January 6.
This has increased by 40% from week to week and is the highest since February 18, 2021.
During the second wave of coronavirus, the number peaked at 39,254 on January 18, 2021.