The Independent’s journalism is supported by our readers. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn commission.

Now is the time for Boris Johnson’s famous boosterism

Editorial: The prime minister needs to get people out of their armchairs, out into the cold, and into the Covid walk-in clinics

Tuesday 30 November 2021 23:32
Comments
<p>Prime minister Boris Johnson at a Downing Street Covid briefing </p>

Prime minister Boris Johnson at a Downing Street Covid briefing

Around this time last year, Boris Johnson appeared before the British people to tell them that, as the vaccines came through in 2021, “the whole concept of a lockdown will be redundant”. Three weeks later, Christmas was cancelled. As the country edges towards more restrictions and rushes to get the booster vaccine programme underway, it is a timely reminder both of how quickly the coronavirus can disrupt plans and assumptions and, indeed, how complacent, vacillating and chaotic the prime minister can be when he really puts his mind to it.

The main difference with a year ago is of course the vaccines are now a defensive reality rather than a fragile hope. Mr Johnson is entirely right to push the system to breaking point and beyond to try and deliver millions of jabs before the omicron variant makes its presence felt. It is indeed the main priority, and it is right that all resources, and that includes the military, are deployed to push booster rates as high as possible and as fast as possible.

For a change, it is a moment when the prime minister’s often mindless optimism and baseless boosterism is entirely appropriate to the task in hand – getting people out of their armchairs, out into the cold, and into the Covid walk-in clinics. Too often the prime minister seems to revert back to happier times when he was mayor of London, when he didn’t have much power to do anything except some exuberant cheerleading and ridiculous photo stunts. It seems churlish, though it is fair, to point out that the booster programme in England has proceeded more slowly than the initial push, and the counterpart campaign in Scotland.

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 inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in