Boris Johnson has responded to concerns about the Oxford Astrazeneca vaccine, plans for Covid-19 coronavirus passports, proposals to resume travel abroad and fears of an easing of the lockdown.
It comes after a leading epidemiologist claims the UK Vaccines Agency is “urgently” considering advising against giving young people the AstraZeneca Oxford push. Regulators in the UK and Europe are investigating possible links between the Oxford / AstraZeneca sting and rare blood clots.
And the easyJet boss warned that the obligation of vacationers returning from low risk countries to pay for two coronavirus tests will only reopen international travel “to people who can afford it.”
Meanwhile, the Prime Minister faces a battle over plans to introduce “vaccination passes” that people can use to prove their Covid-19 coronavirus vaccination status before going to events. At least 40 Conservative MPs reject the plans.
And scientists said there could be a “resurgence” of Covid-19 coronavirus infections if the country continues on its way out of lockdown – although at least one expert has said it might not be as bad as them Modeling suggests.
Reporters questioned Mr. Johnson on all of these topics during his visit to AstraZeneca’s Macclesfield factory today.
He said it was “very important to emphasize that the best of all is to vaccinate our people, to get everyone out, that is the key and I would advocate that, number one”.
The Prime Minister said, “With the Oxford / AstraZeneca vaccine, the best thing to do is look at what the MHRA, our independent regulator, is saying. That’s why we have them, that’s why they’re independent.”
“Your advice to people is to keep going out, get your push, get your second push.”
Regarding the prospect of Covid status certification, Mr Johnson said several other countries were also looking at the “role of vaccination records for overseas travel” which “would likely be a fact of life”.
“I think we are also going to examine the role of a number of signals you can give that you are not contagious,” he said, citing immunity as a result of Covid-19, vaccination status and testing as factors.
Free cross-flow tests will be available on the NHS starting Friday, he said.
“I think that will also be very, very valuable in giving people the confidence to open up.”
When asked about warnings from the Sage Scientific Advisory Board regarding a third wave of cases following the UK easing lockdown restrictions in May and June, Boris Johnson said there was no reason to deviate from his roadmap.
“I just think it’s important that we take every step on the roadmap and keep rolling the vaccine, building our defenses, building the natural resistance of our entire population for who we are, and then looking further at the data in the.” Intervals that we set, ”he told reporters.
“So we’ll see exactly what happens from the openings from April 12th to May 17th and then through June 21st.”
“At the moment, when I look at all the data, I see no reason for us to deviate from the roadmap we have set. We are sticking to it.”
In response to easyJet CEO Johan Lundgren, Uris Johnson told reporters: I raised this exact issue yesterday. I think we want to make things as simple as possible.
“The easyJet boss is right to focus on this issue. We’ll see what we can do to make things as flexible and affordable as possible.
“I want my international travel to start again. We have to be realistic. Many of the goals we are heading to right now are suffering from a new wave of disease, as we know, from Covid.
“We can’t do it right now, but that doesn’t mean we gave up on May 17th.
“We will say as much as we can about international travel as soon as we can.
“I know how impatient people are to book their vacations when they can, but I think we just have to be careful at this stage.”