Latest updates: Labour leader questions prime minister at PMQs about government’s handling of pandemic
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Labour has issued a press release saying key workers should be included in phase one of the vaccination programme, which currently only covers people over the age of 50, health and care staff and people with serious underlying health conditions. At PMQs Sir Keir Starmer said teachers should be vaccinated during half term (see 12.13pm), but Labour is now saying a wider range of key workers should also get priority.
Jonathan Ashworth, the shadow chancellor, said:
The NHS rightly deserve congratulations for their impressive and speedy roll out of vaccinations. But now we need to go further and faster. Not only will vaccination acceleration save lives it will help us to carefully and responsibly reopen our economy and crucially ensure children are back in school as transmission reduces.”
Ministers must bring forward plans to vaccinate key workers as soon as possible. Police officers, teachers, fire fighters and transport workers are just some of the key workers who have kept society functioning through this pandemic and are more exposed to the virus. We cannot afford to slow our vaccination efforts now.
Boris Johnson will hold a press conference later, Sky’s Aubrey Allegretti reports.
PM Boris Johnson to hold Downing Street press conference later today.