LONDON (Labour Buzz) - Good news, Stanley Johnson, the man who broke lockdown more often than Steve McQueen has, received a second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. So too has Rupert Murdoch, whose Fox network has been spewing anti-vax misinformation and of course the Queen and Prince Phillip.
Unfortunately, there hasn’t been time to vaccinate thousands of health workers and vulnerable people. In December we learned that health workers would no longer be at the front of the queue for the vaccine. Five days ago, it emerged that most nursing home residents had also not received their vaccinations.
Across the country, people who thought they would in the first tier of vaccinations are still waiting for news. When Matt Hancock arrived for a cynical photo op at a GP surgery to celebrate the distribution of the Oxford vaccine it turned out that they, like many other GP surgeries had not received anything.
Everywhere you look the government’s rollout of the vaccine is going about as well as the rest of its approach to the pandemic. Batches of vaccine are being left to go out of date, supplies are uneven across the country. To plug the gap, the government decided to delay the second jab in favour of giving as many people as possible the first jab against the advice of its manufacturers.
Pfizer and Astra Zeneca have both warned against postponing the second dose. There is no evidence, they say, that protection will continue long term without the booster shot.
The government approached this piece of expert advice in the same way they have approached the rest. They ignored it.
Also ignored were calls to reduce red tape to allow more people to administer vaccines. Even as they turned to the army to take control of vaccinations, they ignored pharmacists who are not only trained to administer vaccines but also have an extensive distribution network.
That the government should be bungling the vaccine will come as no surprise. Neither will the fact that they have shielded themselves and their contacts from the results of their own incompetence. However, the bare-faced hypocrisy they are showing in doing so raises the bar even by their own low standards.
Johnson received his vaccine despite repeatedly ignoring the law throughout the pandemic. He was caught wearing a mask, insisted he should be allowed to go to the pub, and defied travel restrictions by heading off on holiday.
Meanwhile, as Rupert Murdoch received his vaccine, Tucker Carson on Fox News was telling his viewers to be nervous about the vaccine. The uneven rollout of the vaccine is unfortunately symptomatic of the government’s unapologetic incompetence and the disdain the right-wing holds for just about everyone in the UK from those on the front line to their own supporters.
(Written by Tom Cropper, Edited by Klaudia Fior)