UK Prime Minister bet that vaccinating teens and giving boosters to people over 50 will protect the health care system and prevent further blockages.
LONDON - When Prime Minister Boris Johnson escaped his initial response to the coronavirus pandemic, his political fortunesea weakened, to rebound quickly thanks to the surprising efficiency of Great Britain vaccine deployment .
With its declining popularity gain - this time following a broken promise not to raise taxes - Mr Johnson hopes history will repeat itself.
On Tuesday, he announced a campaign to offer vaccine boosters to people aged 50 and over, as well as the first vaccines to three million children, aged 12 to 15, while reiterating his vow to 'avoid future confinements.
If winter brought an upsurge in new cases, it could however reintroduce the wearing of the obligatory maskre, roll out vaccine passports and urge workers to stay home if possible, in which the government calls its “Plan B”.
" We are now in a situation where so many members of the population have some degree of immunity, smaller changes in the way we ask people to behave can have a bigger impact ", Mr Johnson said at a press conference. conference.
For now, the Prime Minister trusts a stepped up vaccination campaign to protect UK health services from being overwhelmed and for save it from having to order further shutdowns that would depress the economy and infuriate a loud caucus of its own lawmakers.
" The vaccine rebound helped him the first time around and if the recall plan - which will be a huge story in UK politics - goes well and he's able to say the rollout is going to go, it will potentially help him, "said Matthew Goodwin, professor of politics at the University of Kent.
But Mr Goodwin added, " he is certainly vulnerable in terms of internal criticism. "
For a leader who often seems to defy political gravity, the risks are high because, for the former times for months poll scores have been dropping for Mr Johnson's Tory Party. Last week he announced his intention to raise taxes and there are growing doubts about his pledge to "level it out." Economically disadvantaged areas.
There are also signs that some of the new voters that Mr Johnson hasdrawn in the 2019 election could move away. "His post as Prime Minister does not appear to have met the expectations of these voters at present," said Professor Goodwin.
It was a funding crunch looming in health and social care programs that forced Mr Johnson to break his word and agree to raise taxes on workers, employers and some investors. Not only did this jeopardize his party's reputation for low taxation, but this also angered several major party donors.
Conservative support dropped from five to 33%, according to recent poll opinion led by YouGov, with the Labor PartyThe list is up one point to 35%, which puts him in the lead for the first time since January.
Part of Mr. Johnson is that, while polls generally show the British public favoring tough measures to contain the virus, the lockdown restrictions are anathema to a vocal libertarian wing of its own Tory party.
So while the government is not ruling out the possibility of restrictions, it has made it clear that they will be a very last resort after exhausting "simplified containment" measures, such as compulsory mask or vaccination passports.
On Tuesday, Mr Johnson highlighted the success of the vaccination campaign, which he says produced "One of the freest societies and one of the most open economies in Europe ". He added: "It 's pwhy we are now maintaining our strategy. " Image A patient receiving an injection at a nightclub in London last month, as part of efforts to get young people vaccinated. Credit ... Alberto Pezzali / Associated press
Public health experts have generally supported Mr Johnson's announcements, although some have noted that Britain , as usual, seemed to be lagging behind other countries on issues such as immunizing young people or encouraging the use of face masks.
" They always get there, just later than they should, "said Devi Sridhar, Head of the Global Public Health Program at the University of Edinburgh. The coronavirus pandemic ›
Great Britain, she said, "was going in the same direction as other countries, but with a significant delay" in vaccinating 12-15 year olds, developing contingency plans for the port mandatory mask and vaccine passports, and intensified testing to get the country through what is likely to be a difficult winter.
La Monday's decision to vaccinate children as young as 12 was controversial, although many other countries including the United States, France, Italy and thehe Netherlands started doing this months ago. The UK government's advisory group, the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunization, had previously concluded that the health benefits of 12 to 15 year olds were marginal. This has sparked a debate on the ethics of vaccinating children to prevent the spread of a virus that poses a health risk to the adults they live and meet with.
On Monday, chief medical officers in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland argued that by reducing disruption to schools, a vaccination campaign would bring other benefits to young people.
Likewise, the decision on boosters places Britain in a country group who offer injectionsadditional to their own citizens before many people in large parts of the world received even a single dose, prompting cism criticism from David Nabarro, special envoy on Covid for the World Health Organization.
Understanding the mandates for vaccines and masks in the United States
- Vaccine rules . Activated August 23, the Food and Drug Administration granted approval complete to Pfizer-BioNTech's coronavirus vaccine for people 16 years of age and older, paving the way for an increase in terms of officepublic and private sectors. Private companies must increasingly demand vaccines for employees. Such mandates are legally permitted And have been confirmed in court challenges.
- Mask rules . The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in July Recommended that all Americans, regardless of immunization status, wear masks in indoor public places in areas affected by epidemics, a reversal of directions he proposed in May. See where the C. DC directives s would apply , and where states have instituted their own mask policies . The battle over masks has become controversial in some states, with some local leaders defy state bans .
- Colleges and universities. Over 400 colleges and universities require students to be vaccinated against Covid19. Almost all of them are in states that have voted for President Biden .
- Schools . Both California and New York City has mandated immunization mandates for education staff. A survey released in August found that many American parents of school-aged children are opposed to compulsory vaccines for students, but were more supportive of mask mandates for students, teachers and staff who do not have their vaccines.
- Hospitals and medical centers . Many hospitals and large healthcare systems require that employees get a Covid -19 vaccine, citing aincreased number of cases fueled by the Delta variant and stubbornly low vaccination rates in their communities, even among their workforce.
- New York . Proof of vaccination is required from workers and customers for indoor meals, gyms, performances And other indoor situations, although the application does not start until September 13. Teachers and other education workers in the city's large school system should have at least a dose of vaccine by September 27, with no possibility of weekly testing. City hospital staff must also be vaccinated or undergo weekly tests. Similar rules are in place for New York State employees.
- At the federal level. The Pentagon has announced that it will seek to make coronavirus vaccinations mandatory for 1.3 million active duty soldiers " no later than "by mid-September. President Biden announced that all employees federal civilians would have to be vaccinated against the coronavirus or submit to regular testing, social distancing, mask requirements andrestrictions on most trips.
"I'm a little upset, frankly, to hear that Britain is going on recalls, when this is just going to take a really valuable vaccine away from people in other parts of the world who cannot get their basic two doses, and therefore risk dying, ”he said. he told Times Radio.
The question for Mr Johnson is whether the vaccines and his light -a tactile approach to other restrictions will be sufficient to prevent more draconian measures.
Graham Medley, an epidemiologist who advises the government, said that in England, the reproduction rate of the virus hovered around 'one, which means the epidemic was still circulating widely but not spreading exponentially. He said he did not expect a return to the high levels of infection of last January.
Nonetheless, Professor Medley said the experiences
"We are still waiting for the full effect schools reopen and people go back to work, "said Dr Medley, professor of infectious disease modeling at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.
Britain is still reporting over 25,000 cases of the virus a day and hospitalizations are around 1,000 a day. This is enough to put a strain on the National Health Service, which also has to deal with a huge backlog of procedures that had to be reportees during the pandemic. Image Staff decommission a temporary health center in Glasgow, Scotland, which opened last year in response to the pandemic. Credit ... Jeff J Mitchell / Images
Mr. Johnson's bet in lifting most restrictions in July seemed to pay off when new cases came in decreased rather than increased. But with the opening of schools across England in the past two weeks, this over age in infections could still come. Cases have skyrocketed in Scotland, where ecoopened them earlier.
M. Johnson's bet is that a new vaccine rollout, with minimal restrictions, will be enough to avoid a sharp increase in hospitalizations.
Avoid further blockages is essential for Mr Johnson, Prof Goodwin said, adding that some of his own lawmakers would be in place even if measures like mask-wearing were reintroduced to tackle the spread of the virus.
"They really want to see us move forward and learn to live with this " he said.