Despite Labour saying they would “always follow the scientific advice” on vaccinations, Rachel Reeves was tasked this morning with defending a policy that the JCVI have expressly warned against, using a justification that the ONS has rubbished. And Guido thought things couldn’t get worse after sidestepping Labour’s support for the EU vaccine scheme this morning…
After being told by Andrew Marr that the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has said no occupation prioritisation should take place during Phase 1 of the rollout, Reeves either pretended to not know what the JCVI’s Phase 1 vaccination plan is, or was just generally clueless. Guido isn’t sure which is worse. The JCVI explains Phase 1 is made of nine cohorts, which account for 99% of Covid deaths. The advice states that “the first priorities for the current COVID-19 vaccination programme should be the prevention of COVID-19 mortality and the protection of health and social care staff and systems”.
By mid-February the first four cohorts of Phase 1 will be completed, not the whole of Phase 1 as Reeves tried to suggest to get around criticism from the scientists. No wonder she wanted to avoid criticism. By starting queue jumping after the fist four cohorts of Phase 1, Labour would risk an extra 190 deaths a day. Even The Observer this morning cautioned:
“Vaccinating younger teachers is a nice thing to do, but not if it comes at the cost of preventing avoidable deaths, and the data shows teachers (unlike taxi drivers or factory workers) are not at higher risk of death than the general population”
Labour have truly lost the plot with this union-donors driven plan.