As Omicron spreads, UK government to send text messages to locals encouraging Covid boosters

WION Web Team
London, United Kingdom Published: Dec 25, 2021, 10:37 AM(IST)

UK to send out Covid booster related text messages (like one in the picture) to locals. Photograph:( Reuters )

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UK’s mobile operators such as EE, O2, Three UK and Vodafone will have to send out a pre-decided message to all users on behalf of the government

In order to motivate locals to get a Covid booster jab, the government has decided to send out mobile alerts to all customers on Boxing Day.

UK’s mobile operators such as EE, O2, Three UK and Vodafone will have to send out a pre-decided message to all users on behalf of the government. The text message is supposed to encourage all eligible adults to get their booster shots as soon as possible to stay safe from the Omicron variant, which is being dubbed to be more contagious than the Delta variant of coronavirus.

"Get boosted now. Every adult needs a COVID-19 booster vaccine to protect against Omicron. Get your COVID-19 vaccine or booster. See NHS website for details," reads the proposed text message.

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However, mobile operators are hesitant in sending out this text message as they believe that it can offend and anger the customers who do not support the vaccine mandates and are against getting vaccinated.

"Operators feel a little nervous about angering some customers because it is such a heated issue," a telecoms industry source was quoted saying by the Guardian. "We will make it happen, but don’t want those who don’t agree with the message to blame us."

UK’s health and social care secretary, Sajid Javid has confirmed the action plan. "It has never been as important to get protected with the booster – so whether it is in between turkey sandwiches or before the Boxing Day fixtures, whatever your traditions make the booster a part of them this year," Javid said. "Millions of vaccine slots are available through the festive calendar so if you’re not boosted and you get this text, take up the offer and get vaccinated."

It is also being reported that this message will not be sent through the nationwide mobile emergency alert system set up for natural disasters such as floods, tornadoes etc, but will be sent through operators.

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