Tony Blair suggests he would ‘delay’ his vaccine for a teacher
The former Prime Minister was on Sky’s Sophy Ridge on Sunday to discuss Boris Johnson’s handling of the coronavirus vaccination rollout. It comes as Government come under pressure to prioritise teachers for doses in the next stage of the vaccine programme in order to reopen schools. Tony Blair, who is himself in the over-65 category, stressed the need to get children back into education but refused to state whether he would up give up his own dose, opting instead to say he would be willing to “delay” his jab for a teacher.
Mr Blair said he could see the UK Government being in a position to begin to ease restrictions in “the next couple of months.”
He said: “I do think there is a very strong case for vaccinating teachers in order to get schools.
“I mean I know there are arguments on both sides of that but I would need a very compelling argument not to think it was a good idea to do that.
“As you start to vaccinate the disease levels will come down.”
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Ms Ridge asked the former Labour leader if he supported teachers receiving vaccine ahead of those over-60s or over-50s.
“If you decided you wanted to vaccinate all the teachers he could do it in a very short space of time,” replied Mr Blair.
“Yes I know you would delay it somewhat but you could probably get that done in a couple of days.
“I know there are arguments on the other side and speaking as someone who is in that aged category, of course, I want the vaccine as quickly as possible.
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“On the other hand it is so important to get the children back into schools, he added.
“So you would give up your vaccine for a teacher then?” quizzed Ms Ridge.
Mr Blair replied: “I am suggesting I would push back if it is 500,000 people it is two days of vaccinations. I think that is a reasonable thing to do
“If it helps allow you to get the schools back sooner.”
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He was also asked if the UK should consider giving away some of the vaccines that we have to other countries.
Mr Blair said: “That’s only going to happen if we’ve got a surplus of vaccine.
“We, like most developed countries, have ordered more vaccine than we will probably use but this is a decision that has got to be taken once we see our own programme rolling out.
“I’m sure there will be, by the way, for all of the developed world – because America for example has got massively more vaccine ordered than it is ever going to use – there will come a point I’m sure when the developed world will want to make sure that if they have surplus to their own requirements, they’ll want to share this with the developing world.”
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