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be prepared Chief medical officer says Northern Ireland should brace for Omicron tidal wave

The death toll from the Department of Health now stands at 2,921

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Northern Ireland’s chief medical officer, Sir Michael McBride (Brian Lawless/PA)

Northern Ireland’s chief medical officer, Sir Michael McBride (Brian Lawless/PA)

Northern Ireland’s chief medical officer, Sir Michael McBride (Brian Lawless/PA)

Northern Ireland should brace for an Omicron tidal wave and we all should be prepared.

That’s the advice from Northern Ireland's chief medical officer Sir Michael McBride.

He has warned the Omicron variant of Covid-19 will be dominant by January and new Covid restrictions in Northern Ireland should be brought as early as possible in the New Year.

This weekend it was also revealed the Northern Ireland's executive ministers will have to consider the figures associated with the pandemic as they decide what to do and how far restrictions go.

Scientists have warned that a third dose of Covid-19 vaccine, the booster, will help prevent the severity of the virus and have advised anyone who has not, including all vaccines, to do so.

Initial studies suggest a first and second dose are not as effective against Omicron as they have been against other older variants such as Delta.

The third dose can prevent about 75% of people getting Covid symptoms.

Yesterday statistics in Northern Ireland revealed three further three further coronavirus-related deaths.

The death toll from the Department of Health now stands at 2,921.

A further 1,446 positive Covid cases have also been recorded in NI on Saturday.

The full dashboard is not set to be updated until Monday, December 13 but in a tweet, the DoH said that 3,195,368 vaccines have been administered in total.

Despite this in comparison with many other countries around the world, Northern Ireland has a high level of vaccination.

Nearly 3,200,000 vaccine doses have been given out over the past year.

Northern Ireland's overall vaccination level is roughly akin to that of the United States, Germany or Austria.

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Northern Ireland, however, has overall lower vaccination rates than the rest of the UK and the Republic of Ireland.

That has been the case for quite some time.

In spite of a quick start to the vaccination programme, Northern Ireland fell behind the rest of the UK.

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