‘No plans to make Covid-19 vaccine compulsory’ Matt Hancock says after Boris blasts anxi-vaxxers


MINISTERS have NO plans to make coronavirus vaccines compulsory, Matt Hancock stressed today.

The Health Secretary insisted the Government would not make the whole nation get a jab against any vaccines that are rolled out across the nation – after a Pfizer jab yesterday was found to prevent 90 per cent of cases.

In what could be a huge breakthrough in the pandemic, the Government has purchased 40million doses – with ten million available before Christmas.

And Mr Hancock said today the NHS has been told to begin vaccinating people from the start of December if it’s found to be safe.

But today Mr Hancock sought to dismiss anti-vaxxer fears that the whole country will be forced to get the jab or they won’t be allowed out.

Social media accounts, bots and rogue states are behind theories spreading fake news and images scare-mongering about the potential vaccine.

He told the BBC: “Yes, we are not proposing to make this compulsory. not least because I think the vast majority of people are going to want to have it.

“Some international surveys show the UK has one of the highest enthusiasms for taking up the vaccine.”

Care home residents, care workers, NHS staff and older people are expected to get the jab first – it may not come to the wider population until the new year.

Boris last night blasted people who spread wild conspiracy theories about vaccines online – and said: “I hope very much that people won’t be listening to those types of arguments.”

He said their argument “holds no water” and stressed: “I think people need to remember that in having a vaccination you’re not just protecting yourself, you’re protecting anybody who could get infected by you or your family as a vector of the disease.”

Mr Hancock also revealed this morning:

  • GPs will be working 7 days a week on bank holidays and weekends to administer the vaccine to the public – when the time comes
  • The army will be drafted in to help roll out the jabs on a “colossal” exercise
  • But scientists still don’t know whether having the vaccine will stop the spread of the disease – or just protect people against being sick when they come into contact with it
  • The news doesn’t mean people should be lax with social distancing and lockdown rules yet
  • The vaccine must be kept to -70 degrees before it’s given out to the public

Mr Hancock told the BBC: “We are obviously really pleased with the progress and promising news, but we are also cautious.

“We have got to stick with the programme we have got at the moment.”

He said this morning he had written to GPs last night about the “important role” they will play in getting it out.

The Health Secretary said: “The NHS will be working 7 days a week, into the evenings, into bank holidays, to get this rolled out”.

The Government has bought 40million doses from pharmaceutical giant Pfizer - ten million of which could be ready by Christmas

The Government has bought 40million doses from pharmaceutical giant Pfizer – ten million of which could be ready by Christmas
The vaccine has to be kept at very low temperatures before it's rolled out
The vaccine has to be kept at very low temperatures before it’s rolled out

Meanwhile, Professor Sir John Bell today said we are “already on the train” in Britain’s bid to finally beat coronavirus.

In yesterday’s dramatic Downing Street press conference, Professor Jonathan Van Tam used a train analogy to describe how Brits can “now see the train lights” heading towards a platform.

The deputy chief medical officer added that the train is still “a few miles from the station”, and we still need to wait to get on board.

But Sir John told Good Morning Britain that he is a bit further along in that journey, saying the vaccine breakthrough is a “substantial step” forward.

The show’s host, Piers Morgan, described the jab as the “James Bond” of vaccines and Sir John agreed.

He said: “That’s exactly the right description, it’s very fast and all you need is a string of RNA – you can make that really quickly.”

Sir John added: “This is a pretty substantial step.”