Sajid Javid confirms NHS will offer booster vaccines from next week
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Health Secretary Sajid Javid told MPs contingency measures to cope with a COVID-19 surge in winter could include mandatory use of face coverings and the introduction of Covid passes, among a slew of other advice given today in the House of Commons. The plan comes after rising cases across the UK in the run-up to the winter months.
Mr Javid told MPs: “The plan shows how we’ll give this nation the best possible chance of living with Covid without the need for stringent social and economic restrictions.”
Of the five pillars to the plan, he said the first was further strengthening pharmaceutical defences, like vaccines.
He said: “The latest statistics from the ONS show that almost 99% of Covid-19 deaths in the first half of this year were people who had not received both doses of a Covid-19 vaccine. This shows the importance of our vaccination programme.”
He also outlined that working from home measures could return, as well as new measures.
These include consultation on protecting vulnerable patients by making Covid-19 and flu vaccinations a condition of deployment for frontline healthcare staff and wider social care workers in England.
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Face masks are not currently compulsory in most public venues across the UK.
However this could be one of the measures likely to change in the coming months.
He also advised the public should be “wearing a face mask in crowded and enclosed spaces where you come into contact with people you don’t normally meet” this winter.
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