Vaccines minister says England must be ‘really careful’ about 21 June exit | Health policy

Join Hafta-Ichi to Research the article “Vaccines minister says England must be ‘really careful’ about 21 June exit | Health policy”

England must be “really careful” as it considers delaying the 21 June lifting of all coronavirus restrictions, the vaccines minister, Nadhim Zahawi, has said.

“There has been some really hard-won battles against this virus and we don’t want to squander those hard-fought gains that we have made through the vaccination programme,” he told Times Radio Breakfast.

“In saying that the virus hasn’t gone away, the virus will continue to attempt to mutate, to escape, to try and survive, and I think it’s really important that we are really careful.”

But Zahawi said vaccines had begun to “sever the link” between infection rates, cases, hospital admissions and deaths. He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that last week there was a 63% increase in cases, but only a 7.1% increase in hospitalisations and a 1.9% increase in deaths.

“It’s really important with these hard-won battles against the virus, [that we remember] the virus hasn’t gone away, it will attempt to survive by mutating,” he said.

The minister would not be drawn on whether a delay would be announced on Monday, but said the data was being carefully considered and would be presented after the weekend.

Britain’s decision to send 100m surplus vaccines to the world’s poorest nations, announced on Thursday, would not affect the vaccination programme, he said. “Obviously our priority is to make sure that the British public are protected. So our deployment programme will not be impacted at all, by our donation of 100m doses we’ve got over 500m doses on order,” he said. “We’re giving surplus doses away, we’re looking in the cupboard, we’ve got more than we need, and we’re giving it away.”

Zahawi said England as on track to offer all those aged over 50 a second dose of a vaccine by 21 June, and while supplies of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine for coronavirus would be “tight” over the next few weeks, he was confident immunisation targets would be met.

On Thursday Scotland’s health secretary, Humza Yousaf, said supply issues would restrict the programme. But when asked about the shortage of Pfizer supplies on LBC radio, Zahawi said: “I’m confident that Scotland will be able to meet the target of offering every adult at least one dose by the end of July as we will in England as well.”

Hafta Ichi
Source: The Guardian
Keyword: Vaccines minister says England must be ‘really careful’ about 21 June exit | Health policy

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *