Vaccines Yesterday, Jeremy Hunt stated that children should be ‘turbocharged’ to prevent the need to put more restrictions on their lives.
The former health secretary is now chairman the Commons health committee. He said that delays in providing boosters and jabs for students have led to higher cases rates in the UK than in other Western countries.
At a Royal Society of Medicine webinar, he said: ‘Essentially we need to turbocharge the vaccine rollout – particularly the booster jabs and the children’s vaccine programme. This is what is driving the higher case rates.
He said that Plan B must be implemented quickly by the government if necessary.
Yesterday, Jeremy Hunt (Pictured), said that children’s vaccines must be ‘turbocharged to avoid more restrictions.
Only one-fifth of England’s 12-15-year-olds have had their jab, while France has two-thirds of the children who were jabbed before schools reopened.
Latest data suggests the recent surge in cases – driven by the rampant spread of Covid-19 in classrooms – has already peaked.
Secondary pupils still have ten times more infections than those in the over-80s. Yesterday there were 39.842 positive cases, 962 hospitalized, and 165 dead.
The drop in cases has raised hopes Plan B – which includes mandatory face masks and working from home as well as vaccine passports – will not be required.
Hunt said that the Government shouldn’t be afraid of “U-turning” if cases increase.
He also criticized delays by the Joint Committee of Vaccination and Immunisation, (JCVI), that left the UK lagging behind Western countries in vaccinating children and starting boosters.
Mr Hunt said that the increase in cases that we are currently experiencing has primarily been experienced by teenage schoolchildren.
“The cause of our mini-surge in the vaccines for schoolchildren and booster programmes is the delay in their implementation.
“That’s where I believe we should focus our efforts to turn the tide.
He stated that the UK was more exposed than other countries because it failed to vaccinate its children before they went back to school.
Sir Patrick Vallance, however, stated that the country was currently in an ‘uncertain phase’ of the pandemic and that there was still a difficult Winter’ ahead.
He told the BBC: ‘You need to absolutely be prepared (for plan B)…This is obviously something the government will have to consider carefully but we need to be ready to move fast if that occurs.’
He said, “Nobody is really sure which direction this is going in. But they are very clear about the two major variables that could change that.”
One is waning immunity. If immunity deteriorates faster than expected, you will see a greater increase. That’s why it’s so important that booster shots are given to the elderly and vulnerable.
“The second is the behavioral change, or how quickly we can return to pre-pandemic behavior.
He stated that as children’s immunity increases, so will the number of infections.