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Zahawi hails UK jab rollout, saying Covid pandemic can shrink

22 November 2021, 09:51 | Updated: 22 November 2021, 10:26

Nadhim Zahawi disagrees with mandatory Covid jabs

By Asher McShane

Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi told LBC today that he thinks the UK could be the first major economy to demonstrate how to transition from pandemic to endemic using Covid-19 vaccines.

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Mr Zahawi told Nick Ferrari at breakfast this morning: "Our four-step plan meant that we were able to open up the economy in the summer. Some said it was a mistake - I think it was absolutely the right thing to do.

"We will probably, I hope, without being complacent, be the first major economy in the world to demonstrate how you transition (from) pandemic to endemic using vaccines."

Nadhim Zahawi spoke to Nick Ferrari on LBC this morning
Nadhim Zahawi spoke to Nick Ferrari on LBC this morning. Picture: LBC

A pandemic is defined as a disease prevalent over a whole country or the world, and an endemic is a disease regularly found among a particular group of people or in a certain area.

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All people aged 40 and over in England will be eligible to get their Covid booster jabs from today provided it is six months after having had their second dose.

It is part of the Government's efforts to remain on 'Plan A' heading into winter, with the Department of Health and Social Care saying it will help protect the progress of the vaccine rollout and ensure people can "enjoy Christmas safely".

Surges in Covid cases across Europe have caused increased concern, with Boris Johnson previously saying: "The best protection for our country is for everybody to go forward and get their booster."

Professor Stephen Powis, NHS national medical director, said the vaccines would give "vital protection" over Christmas.

"I've had my booster and I would urge everyone to get their vaccine whether their first, second or top-up dose as soon as possible, giving them and their loved ones vital protection over winter and the festive period," he said.

People will be able to book via the National Booking Service from 7am on Monday, or by calling 119.

More than 14 million boosters and third doses have already been administered in the UK - as of Friday - with more than one million top-up jabs recorded since Tuesday.

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