Boris Johnson said being unvaccinated could mean you are nine times more likely to die of Covid.
He cited high levels of people being vaccinated as bringing greater protection but warned those who are not vaccinated are up to nine times more likely to die, depending on their age, than if they have had both jabs.
Professor Chris Whitty said Public Health England data shows in every age bracket there is a “very substantially smaller” risk of being admitted to hospital with Covid if someone is vaccinated compared to those who are not jabbed.
England’s chief medical officer told the Downing Street press conference: “If you just do a very crude look at the numbers, someone who is in their 30s and unvaccinated is running about the same risk as someone in their 70s who is vaccinated. It’s that level of difference.
“One of the most depressing things for doctors, including myself, is talking to people who have just chosen not to get vaccinated because it wasn’t convenient at that particular moment and you see them being wheeled down to intensive care, and you know this was a very serious problem as a result of them not being vaccinated.”
He said people must encourage “everybody we know to get vaccinated” and that for most people it is not that they are anti-vaccination, but rather they just have not got around to doing it.
He added: “We’re about to enter winter. Winter is coming and people really should take this seriously.”