Johnson to outline UK’s Covid winter plan as younger teens to be offered vaccine.

UK prime minister Boris Johnson will on Tuesday outline his plan for dealing with coronavirus in Britain during the winter without reintroducing lockdowns or other severe restrictions.

The announcement follows a decision by Britain’s chief medical officers to offer children aged 12 to 15 a coronavirus vaccine but to leave the choice of whether to accept it up to them rather than their parents.

“What we are not trying to do is say to children ‘you must, must, must, must, must’ but what we are saying is we think – on balance – the benefits both at an individual level and in terms of wider indirect benefits to education and, through that, to public health, are in favour,” England’s chief medical officer Chris Whitty told a press conference in Downing Street.

Prof Whitty denied that there was any conflict between Monday’s decision to offer the vaccine to everyone over 12 and the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation’s (JCVI) advice that the benefit to young teenagers was insufficient to recommend it.

“Our view, which is a view of the great majority of doctors and public health professionals, is that these two are not in conflict. What JCVI has said is there is a marginal advantage but by their assessment that was not sufficient by their ordinary standards to recommend it, and quite appropriately they’ve kept to their independent view. They suggested further things and what we’ve done is we’ve added in some wider considerations as JCVI has suggested,” he said.

Labour welcomed the decision to offer the vaccination to all over-12s but shadow education secretary Kate Green said the programme must be rolled out quickly to avoid further disruption in schools.

“The Conservatives’ chaotic mismanagement of children’s education has kept children out of class for 115 days. The government must finally listen to Labour, parents, teachers and scientific advisers to get proper ventilation and Covid secure measures in place to keep children learning together in class,” she said.

‘Last resort’

Britain, which had a head start on its neighbours in coronavirus vaccination earlier this year, has slipped behind more recently as it has dragged its feet over vaccinating younger cohorts. Health secretary Sajid Javid said on Sunday that the government had dropped plans to introduce vaccine passports for entry to nightclubs and mass events at the end of this month.

Almost all legal restrictions related to coronavirus were lifted in England in July, including the requirement to wear face masks in public places. Downing Street said on Monday that further lockdowns would only be considered as a last resort.

“We are in a very different place than where we were previously when other lockdowns were introduced, thanks to the success of our vaccine programme and other things like therapeutics treatments for coronavirus. We would only ever consider those sort of measures as a last resort and we will set out in more detail tomorrow what our approach will be should we see a significant increase in cases,” the prime minister’s official spokesman said.

Daily coronavirus cases in Britain fell by a quarter over the past week, with 30,825 new cases reported on Monday. But 61 deaths were reported, more than a third above last Monday’s figure of 46.

The Irish Times

The Irish Times online. Latest news including sport, analysis, business, weather and more from the definitive brand of quality news in Ireland.

https://www.irishtimes.com/

Tyrus questions why Biden has yet to apply years of experience.

Tyrus questions why Biden has yet to apply years of experience.

'Gutfeld!' guests dissect Joe Biden's lack of presidential performance. #FoxNews #Gutfeld Subscribe to Fox News! Watch more Fox News Video: Watch Fox News Channel Live: FOX News Channel (FNC) is a 24-hour all-encompassing news service delivering b...

Reckless eco-warriors run onto busy M25 & block BOTH carriageways in dangerous protests.

Reckless eco-warriors run onto busy M25 & block BOTH carriageways in dangerous protests.

BRAZEN eco protesters have escalated their M25 protest campaign by blocking the high speed carriageway. Insulate Britain had previously been targeting the slip roads of the motorway to disrupt motorists. Furious drivers have clashed with the demon...

Ingraham: Biden White House has held America 'hostage'.

Ingraham: Biden White House has held America 'hostage'.

Laura Ingraham says Democrats' only priority is holding onto power by any means necessary. #FoxNews #TheIngrahamAngle Subscribe to Fox News! Watch more Fox News Video: Watch Fox News Channel Live: FOX News Channel (FNC) is a 24-hour all-encompassi...

1 410

Live: Gas prices crisis - govt consider offering state loans to energy companies.

Live: Gas prices crisis - govt consider offering state loans to energy companies.

British Business and Energy Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng takes questions from lawmakers in parliament as the government considers offering state loans to energy companies amid soaring natural gas prices. Home Secretary Priti Patel will then update par...

Trump sent Raffensperger a letter asking him to decertify election.

Trump sent Raffensperger a letter asking him to decertify election.

Georgia's Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger responds to a letter sent three days ago from former President Trump asking him to decertify the 2020 election. #CNN #News

Growing number of children orphaned by COVID-19 - DW News.

Growing number of children orphaned by COVID-19 - DW News.

A recent study estimates that at least 1.1 million children around the world have lost a parent or more of their primary caregivers. The virus has hit families so quickly that often they could not prepare for the worst case. The same is true for m...