Boris Johnson warned UK at ‘pivot point’ over Covid

The Prime Minister was urged Tuesday by Chief Scientific Advisor Sir Patrick Vallance to act tough and early if the pandemic worsens significantly.

As Boris Johnson outlined his plan to deal with the coronavirus in the difficult months ahead, Sir Patrick said the nation was at a “turning point” warning, “You can’t wait until it’s late because you have to do more” .

Mr Johnson posted his plan to start using more vaccinations and resort to mandatory vaccination records, masks and home work when necessary to avoid further lockdowns in the fall and winter.

He appealed to the five million people who have not yet accepted the offer of a Covid-19 vaccine to finally get the vaccination to avoid stricter restrictions over the winter.

“There are approximately five million people who are now eligible for vaccines who have not been vaccinated,” he said.

“Trying to convince these people that the right thing to do to get vaccinated would make a huge difference.”

Speaking at the Downing Street press conference on Tuesday, Sir Patrick warned that it was imperative to act quickly and not wait for the numbers to spiral out of control if additional action was required.

“When you’re making a move, you have to go earlier than you think, you have to go harder than you think, and you have to make sure you have the right geographic coverage,” he said.

“So if this is going in the wrong direction and cases increase followed by hospitalizations, it is important that action is taken early enough and is significant enough.”

Earlier on Tuesday, Health Minister Sajid Javid confirmed that all over 50s in the UK – as well as those in other vulnerable groups – will be offered a third vaccination as a booster to help maintain levels of protection when the country comes into the fall.

The Prime Minister added that he hoped the vaccination program means the UK can remain “one of the freest societies” in Europe, with limited restrictions to keep the disease at bay, and that the government has a “Plan B” if the virus came off in the coming months.

Such plans could include mandatory Covid certification – called vaccination passes – as well as the return of face masks in public places and encouraging people to work from home.

Mr Johnson said the government’s Plan B has “a number of different shots in the locker” that it could respond with if cases rise.

“You wouldn’t necessarily play them all at once, on the contrary, you’d want to do things in stages,” he said.

“We are now in a situation where smaller changes in the way we ask people to behave can have a bigger impact because so many people in the population have some level of immunity.”

Professor Chris Whitty, England’s Chief Medical Officer, was also in attendance, emphasizing that the county was heading into the fall with a much higher number of cases, hospital admissions and deaths than was the case at this point last year.

As part of the booster program, people are offered either the Pfizer / BioNTech or Moderna vaccine for at least six months after the second dose to maximize the effects.

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