The government has resisted the urge, to reinstate some stringent measures, to tackle the rising cases of COVID. Sajid Javid, the Health Secretary, has insisted there is no need to introduce stricter measures. Also, a complete lockdown is off the table, or at least for now, it is.
The NHS will be from today, sending out, letters to those eligible to receive their booster jab. These include NHS and care workers, those with underlying illnesses, and the over 50s. The current understanding is that 6 months must elapse before you can receive this booster. In other words, after your second jab, 6 months from the date you received that, you are then eligible, for the booster or your third jab.
The government has come under attack, from Labour, for being too slow with the roll-out of the booster programme. One had visions, of Sir Keir Starmer, calling Boris 'Captain Catchup' in their 'PM Q's" debates over their respective dispatch boxes. However, it is expected, that over this last week of half term, (schools varying, of course), there will be major uplift in the booster programme. As said, earlier, letters to receive your boost from the NHS, will be, dropping on people's doormats across England. 2 million citizens are now eligible for their boost and Mr Javid is urging all these people to get it. Eligible people can now book their boost on the relevant website.
The government has rejected right now at least, the need, to bring back mandatory mask-wearing, social distancing, and sanitizing. However, in medical facilities, all these measures are still in operation. The government has largely left it up to individuals, as to whether, to wear masks, social distance, or sanitize.
Of course, Mr Javid, as Health Secretary, will be hoping the booster programme will be enough. However, many MPs including Tory MPs, (perhaps some in the cabinet even), are openly saying the booster programme is not enough. 5 million people have had their booster so far.
Adam Finn a member of The Joint Committee of Vaccination and Immunisation Committee has provided a caution about the booster programme. Mr Finn expressed the view, that the vaccine, will stop people from getting seriously ill. However, it does not stop, infections altogether and it will certainly not stop the spread of the virus. Mr Finn said that people should be taking a more mindful action to halt the spread of the virus. And what is that? Well, mask-wearing, social distancing and sanitizing.
The government knows or should know, that COVID cases will spike, as the UK weather turns, colder. Influenza is back with a vengeance and hitting people harder this time. The flu is hitting people harder this year because last year, we were all in lockdown and we were isolated, from the virus. Now we're all back in circulation again, the flu, like COVID, is having a field day despite the fact, there are jabs for both. Gatherings of people are a breeding ground for both diseases. Humans are by nature herding animals and every facet of our society reflects this. Whether it be at work, in educational facilities, places of worship, pubs, restaurants, cafes, at home, etc. So the flu and now COVID, have evolved to take advantage of this. Humans develop better vaccines to protect us, and naturally, the viruses respond, accordingly.
It's going to be a long and hard winter for many this year. Let us hope, the government in having great faith in the vaccine against COVID is correct. Otherwise, the government will be making yet another massive blunder in not introducing yet again more effective protection measures or indeed, national or local lockdowns.
Finally, it seems, this nation has a penchant for division over some issue or other. We remember the Leavers and Remainers from Brexit. We remember the anti-BLM and pro-BLM marches of last year. We've seen climate change protesters last year and this year, confronted by those, who would oppose them. We've seen pro-vaccine marches and anti-vaccine marches too. Now, it seems, the mask has become a symbol of whether you are a Tory or Labour. In Parliament, the Tory benches tend not to wear masks, whereas, on the Labour benches, you will mainly see the opposite.