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Omicron COVID Strain
The new COVID variant was initially detected in South Africa and Botswana and sparked major concerns due to its high number of mutations (32). The WHO dubbed the strain Omicron and warned it may prove to be more transmissible and dangerous than other coronavirus variants.

UK Mobile Operators Reportedly Fear Backlash As Gov't Asks to Send Vaccination Alerts

© AP Photo / Matt DunhamPeople queue up to get COVID-19 booster injections outside a vaccination centre in a UCL (University College London) building, in London, Friday, Dec. 17, 2021
People queue up to get COVID-19 booster injections outside a vaccination centre in a UCL (University College London) building, in London, Friday, Dec. 17, 2021 - Sputnik International, 1920, 24.12.2021
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MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Major UK mobile operators are concerned about the potential backlash from vaccination opposing clients following the government's request to send a country-wide mobile alert urging the public to get a COVID-19 booster, the Guardian reported on Friday.
The UK government has reportedly asked the country's biggest mobile operators, including EE, O2, Vodafone and Three UK, to send messages to millions of their clients on behalf of the National Health Service (NHS) urging them to get a booster shot on Boxing Day, 26 December.
"Operators feel a little nervous about angering some customers because it is such a heated issue. We will make it happen, but don’t want those who don’t agree with the message to blame us," an industry source was quoted as saying by The Guardian,
The proposed text message will say "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," according to the newspaper. The move aims to increase public awareness about the revaccination campaign amid the Omicron surge.
At the beginning of the pandemic, the government already used mobile operators to send out messages in support of the NHS and containing general COVID-19 health advice. The decision did not stir a controversy then.
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