Booster jab will be needed for Covid pass in future, Sajid Javid hints

Health secretary suggests France-style crackdown on the cards, saying ‘We will have to look at what constitutes vaccination’

Rob Merrick
Deputy Political Editor
Thursday 11 November 2021 16:33
Comments
Sajid Javid suggests booster jab needed for Covid pass in future

Older people will face restrictions on their freedoms in future if they choose not to have a Covid booster jab, the health secretary has suggested.

Sajid Javid hinted the government is considering adopting a crackdown similar to that in France – which will require a third dose in order to be classed as “fully vaccinated” on the country’s health pass.

The pass is required for entry to bars, cafés, restaurants, leisure centres, tourist sites and long-distance trains, by providing either proof of vaccination or of a recent negative Covid test.

Asked if making a third jab part of a Covid pass is “something that you might look at”, Mr Javid replied: “We’re not looking at that yet.

“I think, in due course, we will have to look at what constitutes vaccination, but at this point the most important thing is that anyone that’s eligible gets out there and gets their booster.”

Pressed on whether the curb could be introduced “potentially in the future”, the health secretary told Sky News: “I can’t rule that out.

“We know now that the vaccines do wane and it’s important that, where it’s necessary, that those people get a top up. I think it’s something that we have to keep under review.”

Covid passes have been introduced in Wales – and are now being extended to cinemas and theatres – while Scotland requires proof of double vaccination for crowded venues.

A similar plan was shelved in England, but is part of the government’s ‘plan B’ should Covid hospitalisations and deaths rise sharply over the winter.

If introduced, it would require proof of vaccination for “indoor crowded settings with 500 or more attendees such as music venues or large receptions”, including all nightclubs.

The events would be those where people “are likely to be in close proximity to people from other households”, the winter plan set out.

“Outdoor, crowded settings with 4,000 or more attendees” and “any settings with 10,000 or more attendees, such as large sports and music stadia” – including top football matches – would also be covered.

But places of worship, wedding ceremonies, funerals and “other commemorative events” would be exempt, as would protests and “mass participation sporting events”.

In the meantime, Covid passes are required for international travel – which would be the most likely are for a booster jab to be required.

In interviews, Mr Javid faced down criticism of his decision to make vaccines compulsory for staff in England, from next April.

“We know that people in hospital, they’re already very vulnerable, and the last thing they want is to be exposed to Covid-19 when it could have been prevented, and that can be fatal for them in that condition,” he said.

“I think, ultimately, this is the right call - it is the duty of the NHS and the government to do everything that we can to protect vulnerable people.”

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged in