Get your vaccine to keep Britain on track, PM pleads as he sticks to Plan A

21 October 2021, 18:43 | Updated: 21 October 2021, 19:54

Boris Johnson wants to stick to Plan A and urged people to get their vaccines
Boris Johnson wants to stick to Plan A and urged people to get their vaccines. Picture: Alamy

By Will Taylor

Get your vaccines to make sure Britain's Covid plan remains on track, Boris Johnson has urged.

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The prime minister said anyone contacted for a dose – whether that's their first, second or booster jab – should answer the call.

His comments come as his health secretary Sajid Javid ruled out implementing the coronavirus "Plan B" for now, and No10 denied the existence of a fall-back "Plan C".

The decision not to trigger new measures was made as Britain hit 50,000 daily cases, ahead of a winter some fear could prove challenging – with Mr Javid warning they could hit 100,000 every 24 hours.

Speaking on Thursday, Mr Johnson said: "We're continuing with the plan that we set out in July, which was in itself an extension of the road map that began in February.

Read more: No10 dismisses 'Plan C' and denies plans for ban on Christmas household mixing

"Yes, we're watching the numbers very carefully, every day. And yes… the numbers of infections are high but we're within the parameters of what the predictions were, what Spi-M and the others said where we would be at this stage, given the steps that we've taken.

"So we're sticking with our plan, I think the most important thing people can do now is just get that booster jab, when you get the call, get the jab. We've done about four million booster jabs already.

Read more: Javid's jabs plea: Health Sec says 'get your booster' as he rules out Covid Plan B

"But as soon as you become eligible, as soon as you get that call, everybody over-50 should be getting that jab.”

Mr Javid later said that a record 234,000 people booked a booster jab yesterday.

There are fears increased mixing indoors during the colder winter months, combined with a resurgence of flu, could apply serious pressure to the NHS.

The Government's strategy throughout the pandemic has been to ensure hospitals do not get overwhelmed by patients and leaving them struggle to care for people.

Mr Javid told reporters on Wednesday that the Government was not implementing "Plan B" despite rising cases.

Such a move could see the return of lockdowns as a last resort, legally mandating face coverings, introducing vaccine passports and once again instructing employees to work from home.

And earlier on Thursday, the PM's spokesperson said that "neither ministers nor officials" are working on proposals for a Plan C, which was suggested to involve limits on households mixing.

"We're in a much better position going into the autumn, the winter, now than we were 12 months ago, incomparably better, because of the huge level of protection that we got from the vaccines,” Mr Johnson said.

"Ninety percent of the adult population has antibodies right now. But we must fortify ourselves further.

"The numbers are high, we can see what's happening, we can see the increase, now is the time to get those booster jabs and also to vaccinate the 12 to 15 year-olds as well."

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer hit out at the vaccine rollout, and said: "We've seen those that most need it are not able to get the jab they need, only I think 17% of children have got the vaccine and the booster programme has slowed down so much that at this rate, we're not going to complete it until spring of next year.

"So the Government needs to change, it needs to get a grip, I think it needs to drive those numbers up to at least 500,000 vaccines a day."