Sunday 5 December 2021 / 10:30 PM Coronavirus / Health / Keir Starmer

Keir Starmer calls for ‘renewed national effort’ to increase take up and rollout of the booster programme and halt delays to lifesaving treatments

Keir Starmer is calling for a ‘renewed national effort’ to increase take-up and roll out of the booster vaccination programme and halt delays to lifesaving treatments. On the day he is getting his booster jab, the Labour Leader is calling on those who are eligible but unwilling to ‘consider the impact of their decision, think again, and get vaccinated.’

The Labour leader’s intervention reflects warnings from doctors and nurses that NHS hospitals are delaying operations due to increasing pressure from large numbers of coronavirus patients who have not been vaccinated.

New Labour analysis reveals that the total number of booster vaccinations currently being administered remains significantly below the number of jabs that were being delivered at the same point in the first vaccine rollout earlier this year.

Earlier this year, during the initial vaccine rollout, the number of vaccinations peaked at 602,265 a day on average. In contrast, the current total number of vaccines now being delivered per day on average is 435,542, over a quarter less than in March. Moreover, the most recent daily figure of 424,330 vaccinations delivered on 3 December is fewer than half the peak of 873,784 vaccinations on 20 March.

Labour has repeatedly pressed the Government to reduce the time between boosters, provide clarity on children’s vaccination, and redouble efforts to ensure that areas of the country that have low vaccination rates urgently get support to address it.

Keir Starmer, Leader of the Labour Party, said:

“Healthcare professionals and volunteers around the UK are working so incredibly hard to roll out booster jabs. It is vital that we all support them and our NHS for the winter ahead by playing our part and getting a booster vaccination as soon as invited to.

“It is frustrating and worrying that medics are seeing too many hospital beds and NHS resources are taken by those that have chosen not to get the vaccine. I am calling on those who are eligible but unwilling to get vaccinated to consider the impact of their decision and think again.

“We are stronger when we all come together and act to protect ourselves, our loved ones and our communities from the virus.

“But with the number of vaccinations down a quarter from the peak earlier this year, we simply cannot afford for the Government to take its eye off the ball in speeding up the rollout of the booster programme. The Prime Minister needs to break the habit of his tenure by stepping up and getting a grip.”