Tony Blair has called for an overhaul of vaccine rollout plans by not holding back second doses and instead using them to give patients their first jabs.
The former Labour prime minister said under the current system, “much of the country will not be vaccinated until spring or summer” – leading to “colossal” economic and health damages.
In a plea to Boris Johnson, he urged the prime minister to “radically accelerate” mass-immunisation.
Mr Blair said the government should “consider using all the available doses in January as first doses, that is, not keeping back half for second doses”.
The Pfizer/ BioNTech vaccine approved for distribution in the UK requires two doses, administered two weeks apart.
Mr Blair speculated that 30 million Johnson and Johnson vaccines – which requires only one dose – will also be available for use by the end of January.
He also suggested that while the focus should be on frontline health staff and the most vulnerable, people more likely to spread COVID-19 like students should also be considered as a priority.
“The logic behind age is naturally heightened risk of mortality,” Mr Blair wrote in an article for The Independent.
“But if it is the spread we’re anxious about