Tony Blair Urges Government To Vaccinate Entire Population Within Weeks
Former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair has urged the current government to vaccinate the entire population, not just the elderly, within weeks.
While he insisted that he is not criticising the current government, he said there needs to be a vaccination programme put in place that administers up to five million jabs a week.
‘Right now, there are a significant number of GP practices that aren’t doing vaccinations, and there is a limit on the number of pharmacies we are using,’ he said.
Speaking to Sky News earlier today, he insisted the UK to use ‘every single piece of infrastructure there is’.
He said it is possible, but will be both a logistical and organisational challenge.
‘These new vaccinations are much easier to administer, we should be able to do this at a vastly increased scale,’ he told Sky.
When asked whether this would be possible given that vaccines will need time to be manufactured, he said manufacturers are prepared to meet the demand:
What you’ll find with manufacturers, once you produce the vaccines, they have a half-life as it were, you have to use them within a certain specified amount of time.
Manufacturers will say we can manufacture more provided you can tell us your system can absorb those vaccines.
Also commenting on the ongoing debate over whether to close schools, Blair said that unless there is a ‘step change’ it will be difficult to keep schools open.
New figures released yesterday, January 2, show that confirmed coronavirus cases were higher than 50,000 for the fifth day in a row.
Also speaking to Times Radio, the former prime minister said a ramped-up vaccination programme was the only alternative to a ‘severe lockdown’.
He said closing schools is a ‘disaster’, because on the one hand, children are not getting educated.
He said, however, the stance of teachers and parents across the country is completely understandable:
The risk to children is very, very small, it’s the risk to transmission rates and it’s the risk to teachers and parents, and therefore to those that their parents mix with. So, for all of those reasons, it just emphasises yet again why it’s so important to get vaccination under way.
Speaking on The Andrew Marr Show earlier today, Boris Johnson urged parents to send their children to school, insisting that primary schools are safe.
This week, the NHS prepares to roll out the newly approved Oxford University and AstraZeneca vaccines, with 530,000 doses available for distribution across the UK from Monday, December 4.
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