Over-18s vaccines rollout is a critical milestone – The Yorkshire Post says

SIX months after Margaret Keenan became the first person in the world to receive a Covid vaccine, all over-18s can now apply for jabs as Britain’s rollout programme is accelerated.

Another significant milestone, it is also a very timely one at the end of a week that began, inevitably, with the lifting of lockdown restrictions being delayed due to the growing prevalence of the Delta variant.

Last night’s announcement, and the safe knowledge that vaccines are the best deterrent to Covid, gives hope to all those in the hospitality sector who are counting on the economy being able to reopen belatedly by July 19.

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But the challenges remain significant; not least persuading sufficient young people, and also individuals from a variety of backgrounds who have refused vaccines on non-health grounds, to book appointments in sufficient numbers to help suppress the spread of the pandemic.

Margaret Keenan became the first person in the world last December to receive a Covid vaccine.
Margaret Keenan became the first person in the world last December to receive a Covid vaccine.

And, here, it is going to require a far more sophisticated approach than Downing Street expecting Matt Hancock to lead the call-to-arms when Boris Johnson has dismissed his own Health Secretary as “hopeless” in WhatsApp messages.

Instead, it requires the Government to use role models who can relate to young adults. This is also an opportunity to use social media as a force for good in society. And the messaging needs to be nuanced – demonising the over-18s for refusing to comply, at a time when myriad Ministerial muddles have added to their scepticism, risks being counter-productive. If this is to be the final furlong for Covid, and lockdowns, for now, Britain can ill-afford a repeat of past mistakes.

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All over-18s can now book Covid jabs, Boris Johnson has announced.