Speaking as the UK begins a historic mass vaccination campaign, Prime Minister Boris Johnson attacked anti-vaxxers, accusing them of taking “totally the wrong approach.”
While the first individuals were receiving the jab, Johnson was asked to reassure those who might be concerned about or opposed to getting the vaccine. That’s after various organizations warned that the anti-vaccine movement could undermine the fight against Covid-19.
I know that there are loads of people who count themselves as anti-vaxxers. That’s totally the wrong approach. It’s safe, it’s the right thing to do, it’s good for you and it’s good for the whole of the country.
Emphasising the importance of people being inoculated, Johnson warned that “the virus is still rising.” Alongside the vaccine rollout, he called on people to remain vigilant, follow social distancing guidelines and, as soon as possible, get the jab.
“It’s amazing to see the vaccine come out… but we can’t afford to relax now” On a visit to a London hospital, PM Boris Johnson warns “the virus is still rising” as the mass vaccination programme begins across the UK https://t.co/1mN0kmHGq2pic.twitter.com/Ez1HeK6svr
The prime minister made his remarks during a visit to Guy’s Hospital in London, where he met with 81-year-old Lyn Wheeler, who was one of the first people in the world to receive the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock has previously acknowledged the need to overcome the concerns of anti-vaxxers and argued that getting inoculated is “much less worse than getting the virus.”
The UK became the first country in the world last week to accept the recommendation of the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency and swiftly grant emergency authorization for the widespread use of the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine.
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The government has indicated that, if the vaccine is effective in stopping transmission, Covid-19 restrictions could be lifted from spring 2020, although an exact date is not currently known.
England, Scotland and Wales currently have a tiered system of restrictions, while Northern Ireland is in a two-week circuit-breaker lockdown to combat the outbreak. In the last 24 hours, the UK government reported 14,718 new infections and 189 more deaths, bringing the nationwide total to 1,737,960 positive cases.
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