Tony Blair urges ministers to set target of 500,000 booster jabs every day over fears a fresh Covid wave could cripple the NHS
- Tony Blair said the Government needs to act ‘rapidly’ as cases continue rising
- Report by his think tank the Tony Blair Institute said ministers should set targets
- It also said Government should aim to vaccinate 12 to 15-year-olds by December
Tony Blair today demands ministers set a target of delivering 500,000 Covid booster jabs a day, amid fears a fresh wave of disease could overwhelm the NHS.
With cases rising, the former prime minister says the Government needs to act ‘rapidly and decisively’ to avoid the need for another lockdown as winter approaches.
A report by his think tank, the Tony Blair Institute, said ministers should set a daily target for booster jabs, reactivate the vaccine infrastructure set up earlier in the year and start using the AstraZeneca vaccine for boosters.
The report said the Government should also aim to ensure half of all 12 to 15-year-olds are vaccinated by the start of December, while making the approval of vaccines for the under-12s a priority.
Tony Blair is set to demand ministers set a target of delivering 500,000 Covid booster jabs a day, amid fears a fresh wave of disease could overwhelm the NHS
And it called on ministers to ‘urgently explore’ the options for introducing a Covid passport while reinstating mandatory face coverings for crowded indoor public spaces.
Mr Blair says that without action now, there was a danger that further restrictions would be required in the weeks ahead.
The 500,000 figure compares to a vaccination rate of about 200,000 now – and is well behind the 600,000 figure over the summer.
‘Everyone hopes that the damage of Covid-19 is substantially behind us even as we battle its legacy,’ he says.
‘However, the worst that could happen is that we go back into anything approaching the lockdowns we experienced during the past 18 months. We’re not saying this will happen. But the risk is there now.
‘Once well ahead of the rest of Europe, we’re now behind Germany, France and Italy in terms of cases and even vaccinations.
‘So, from an abundance of caution, a sensible sentiment given the history of Covid-19, we believe the Government should rapidly and decisively accelerate measures to give us the best possible chance of avoiding the disease spiralling again.’