Mr Johnson set out plans for tackling the virus in England over the coming months, with chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance stating that vaccinations will be key to maintaining lighter controls.
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What are the PM’s plans for this winter?
Health Secretary Sajid Javid confirmed that all over-50s in England – as well as those in other vulnerable groups – will be offered a booster shot to maintain protection levels as the country enters the autumn.
Those eligible will be offered a dose of the Pfizer vaccine at least six months after their second dose.
To keep the NHS from being overburdened, the PM has stressed the importance of vaccinations and testing and called on the five million people still not vaccinated to get the jab.
Vaccines for 12 to 15-year-olds will also be rolled out across England and Scotland.
Sir Patrick backed the winter plan, stating: “When you make a move, you have to go earlier than you think you want to, you have to go harder than you think you want to and you need to make sure you have got the right geographical coverage.
“So, if this goes in the wrong direction and cases go up, followed by hospitalisations, it’s important that the measures are put in place early enough and they are significant enough.”
He added that getting vaccinated is “the right thing to do” and that immunity is crucial to “keep [cases] down”.
What has Boris Johnson said?
Boris Johnson has said it is the “priority” to get those 5 million people vaccinated.
“It will be good for you. You are overwhelmingly more likely sadly to die or suffer serious disease if you haven’t been vaccinated,” he said.
Despite the decision to scrap plans for vaccine passports to gain entry into nightclubs and other venues, Mr Johnson said it is “not sensible” to rule it out at this stage, inidcating that the measure could still be introduced if cases rise over winter.
He added: “The reason for wanting to have this option is because it’s a choice between proceeding with Covid-19 certification or, sadly, once again asking places to close, and I certainly don’t want to do that.
“That’s why I think it’s a good idea to keep this in reserve.”
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