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Stanley Johnson says he’s set to get his second dose of the coronavirus vaccine today, and admitted he isn’t ‘quite clear’ about the rules surrounding the vaccination programme.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s father, who turned 80 five months ago, confirmed the news during an interview on ITV’s Good Morning Britain, and said he was ‘very much looking forward to it’.
When asked if he would be going ahead with his second dose, Johnson Sr, who got his first jab exactly three weeks ago, said: ‘Indeed I am. I had my first jab on December 18, I guess three weeks on is today, and I’m very much looking forward to it. I don’t have to go far, and I think I’m going to be fancy free after that.’
The news may come as a surprise to some, after the government announced last week that second doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine would be pushed back to allow more vulnerable people to get their first jabs. However, it is thought those who had their second appointments booked before the delay was announced will still get their second doses as planned, though this is not clear in the new guidelines.
Despite initial plans to give them three weeks after the first, the UK’s Chief Medical Officers said on December 30 that second doses will be administered 12 weeks later, as part of a plan to ramp up the total number of people vaccinated in the country. The controversial decision was reportedly made amid concerns that the UK is now in a ‘race’ to vaccinate, after a new, more contagious strain of COVID-19 emerged in the country.
As well as this confusion, Johnson Sr. also had to be corrected by host Kate Garraway, after saying he didn’t know whether he would still have to follow the rules of lockdown once being fully vaccinated. He said ‘one thing not quite clear [to] me is what rules will apply,’ adding: ‘Do we have a get out of jail free card… I think probably not. I think the rules will still have to be locked down.’
According to current legislation, lockdown rules apply to everyone in England, regardless of whether or not they have been vaccinated.
The UK is facing pressure to administer first doses to almost 14 million vulnerable people by February 15, with experts saying vaccinating the elderly and their carers could prevent nearly 90% of COVID-19 deaths.
There are some concerns that the UK is not yet vaccinating enough people each day to reach its targets, but Johnson Sr. said that he was optimistic about the country’s vaccine progress.
He said: ‘I’m very reassured by the fact that we have got a grip on the vaccination programme. Someone has said, ‘give us the tools and we’ll finish the jab’… so I’m confident that we’ll get there, and we’ll get there by Easter,’ the Mirror reports.
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