Boris Johnson warns of jab creating ‘false complacency’ with NHS facing ‘race against time’
Mr Johnson said people must follow the rule (Image: PA)
Get US and UK politics insight with our free daily email briefing straight to your inbox
Sign upWhen you subscribe we will use the information you provide to send you these newsletters. Sometimes they’ll include recommendations for other related newsletters or services we offer. OurPrivacy Noticeexplains more about how we use your data, and your rights. You can unsubscribe at any time.Thank you for subscribingWe have more newslettersShow meSee ourprivacy noticeInvalid Email
Boris Johnson has warned that people must continue to follow lockdown rules as he admitted he feared that “false complacency” may be spreading as news of the vaccine rollout spread.
The PM warned that tougher lockdown rules could come if people didn't follow the rules – but he stressed it would be preferable for people to follow existing rules rather than have to introduce new measures.
He added that that vaccination are “a race against time” with the scale of the threat on the NHS, which he said includes a shortage of oxygen in some places.
He said vaccinating the 15 million people in the top four priority groups by mid-February is a “massively stretching” but “achievable target”.
During a visit to a vaccine centre in Bristol, the Prime Minister told reporters: “We cannot be complacent. The worst thing now would be for us to allow the success in rolling out a vaccine programme to breed any kind of complacency about the state of the pandemic.”
He said it was "far, far better for people to obey the rules that we have than simply to promulgate new rules.”
Bristol City’s Ashton Gate football stadium is one of 7 mass vaccine hubs opening today
(Image: Rowan Griffiths)
2.4 million have received coronavirus vaccine in UK, says Boris Johnson
Keir Starmer sets out Labour's 4 demands to protect families during lockdown
He hailed progress in the vaccination of elderly citizens and added: “It’s a race against time because we can all see the threat that our NHS faces the pressure, it’s under the demand in intensive care units, the pressure on ventilated beds, even a shortage of oxygen in some places.
“We’ve got to focus on what we all need to do together to bear down on the disease.”
It came after Mr Johnson confirmed that the UK had vaccinated 2.4 million people among them "roughly 40% of the 80-year-olds" and "23% of the elderly residents of care homes".
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has warned that further lockdown measures may be required if people do not follow the rules.
On tightening the rules, the PM said: “We’re going to keep the rules under constant review.
“Where we have to tighten them, we will.
Chris Whitty warned that the NHS was facing its most dangerous period in the pandemic
Government urges 600,000 people aged over 80 to drive up to 90 minutes to get Covid jab
“We have rules in place already which, if they are properly followed, we believe can make a huge, huge difference.
“It’s now that people need to focus … when they’re out shopping, whether they’re buying cups of coffee in the park or whatever it happens to be, they need to think about spreading the disease.”
He added: “Now is the moment for maximum vigilance, maximum observance of the rules.
“Of course, if we feel that things are not being properly observed then we may have to do m
The news came as England’s chief medical officer warned that the UK has not yet hit the peak of the current wave of Covid-19 infection, with the next few weeks being “the worst” of the pandemic for the NHS.
Professor Chris Whitty said the vaccine rollout offered hope that lockdown restrictions could be lifted in the coming months, but described the current UK death rate as “appalling”.
The Prime Minister said: “I think what (Professor) Chris Whitty had to say this morning was absolutely right. This is a very perilous moment because everybody can sense that the vaccine is coming in and they can see that the UK is vaccinating large numbers of those that need it most.
“My worry is, and Chris’s worry is, that this is the moment when that degree of false confidence, false complacency, and that when you look at what has happened in the NHS that complacency is not merited.
“More important than us just pushing out new rules, people have got to follow the guidance.
“In supermarkets, people need to be keeping their differences, making sure that they’re wearing masks, doing the right thing.
“We need to enforce the rules in supermarkets. When people are getting takeaway drinks, in cafes, then they need to avoid spreading the disease there, avoid mingling too much.”