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NHS director warns health service ‘won’t stand for’ anti-vaccine protests

Kate Devlin
·2-min read
 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

A senior NHS director has warned the health service “won’t stand for” anti-vaccine protests which prevent doctors saving lives.

Dr Nikita Kanani issued the warning after a mobile Covid-19 vaccination bus was targeted in Nottingham earlier today.

Speaking alongside Boris Johnson at a Downing Street press conference, Dr Kanani, the medical director of primary care for NHS England, also suggested interference with the UK’s inoculation programme could slow the return of normal life “that we miss so much”.

She said: “I heard today that a group of people were protesting outside a mobile vaccination bus in Nottingham.

“I want to say now that we will not stand for it. It is of vital importance that you allow our colleagues to do the job that they need to do, that you allow them to save lives by vaccinating people.

“And as prime minister says, you allow our teams to get us back to the lives that we love and that we miss so much.”

Last year Mr Johnson condemned so-called anti-vaxxers as “nuts”.

But ministers decided not to make the jabs compulsory, preferring to try to persuade the public instead.

More than 10 million adults across the UK have now received a second dose of a coronavirus vaccine, as the programme to inoculate the population continues apace.

At the same news conference Mr Johnson suggested that vaccines would not be enough to avoid another wave of the virus later this year. Most scientists were “firmly of the view” that there would be a third wave of the disease at some point this year, he said.

However, there was nothing in the current data to suggest that ministers should not proceed with the the next stage of the roadmap to ease lockdown as planned, he said.

The prime minister also unveiled a new government antivirals taskforce to help identify new medicines for the treatment of Covid-19.

“This means, for example, that if you test positive for the virus that there might be a tablet you could take at home to stop the virus in its tracks and significantly reduce the chance of infection turning into more serious disease,” he said.

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