Boris Johnson
Boris Johnson lashed out at 'nuts' anti-vaxxers today as he urged all Britons to get a flu jab in the run-up to winter.

Amid fears that the NHS will face a second wave of coronavirus when the weather worsens, he said the vaccination would keep vital services free to assist the worst affected.

Chatting with medical staff on a visit to a London health centre this morning Mr Johnson was heard to criticise opponents of vaccination.

When discussing those who refuse lifesaving injections like the MMR jab, the Prime Minister was heard saying: 'There are all these anti-vaxxers now, they are nuts'.

Comment: Don't even think about what may be harmful in vaccines, or my government will call you crazy. And treat you accordingly.

He also suggested that the UK would still be dealing with coronavirus next summer, just days after promising a return to 'normality' in time for Christmas.

The Prime Minister said he believes the UK will be 'well past' coronavirus by the middle of next year, but warned of 'tough times' ahead.

Comment: Gotta keep those mixed messages coming - better for keeping the public on their toes to expect whatever Boris's masters want them to do or think next!

But his comments come a week after he spoke of a 'significant return to normality' in time for Christmas - a vision that leading scientists warned would be difficult to deliver.

Comment: Which leading scientists? The one's under the WHO payroll? Those?

Later he told Sky News: 'We want everybody to get a flu jab in the run-up to this winter and that's why we're rolling out the biggest-ever programme of flu immunisation.

Comment: "We want you taking all the vaccines being made available. Not just the one coming for Covid. Get used to it."

'And we're aiming first of all for schoolchildren up to year seven, for pregnant women, for people over 65, for people who are shielded, but then we will be extending it to people who are 50 to 65.

Comment: "And we want everyone to take them."

'Now the reason for doing this is to protect the NHS in the winter months because obviously we have still got Covid, we have still got the threat of a second spike on Covid, and it's vital therefore to keep that pressure off the NHS by everybody getting a flu jab and I really hope everybody will.'

Comment: "We can't have all the hospitals being overburdened - even if that hasn't happened here as we expected. It could happen! So take your damn vaccine"

In other developments from the Prime Minister's appearances today:
  • Boris Johnson suggested UK would still be dealing with coronavirus next summer, just days after promising a return to 'normality' in time for Christmas.
  • Prime Minister is set to unveil a new anti-obesity strategy next week which may include banning junk food advertising
  • Asked about the plans today, Mr Johnson said: 'Losing weight is, frankly, one of the ways that you can reduce your own risks from Covid'
  • Speaking on a visit to a London health centre today to encourage uptake of the winter flu jab the PM said: 'I'm on the way, I've lost about a stone and a bit. Primarily by eating less, but also by a lot of exercise'
  • He ruled out introducing new 'sin taxes' such as the sugar tax on soft drinks. But he is considering new labelling laws
  • Mr Johnson is also expected to launch a major drive to encourage people to walk and cycle, with millions poured into building new bike lanes

Comment: Lose weight, and don't eat junk food - but nothing about Vitamin D, zinc, and a number of other supplements that would assist in building one's natural immune system to flu-like ailments.

He revealed that an 'overall package' of about £3.7billion has been given to local councils to help them stop the spread of the virus.

And Johnson added that £600million has been put into an 'anti-infection scheme'.

He then said that 'cross-party proposals' would be brought forward in a bid to make sure people are protected from the risk of having to sell their homes if they need to pay for social care.

While on a visit to a GP surgery, the Prime Minister said that the UK will have to continue with coronavirus prevention measures such as social distancing and wearing face masks until the spread of coronavirus is under control.

Mr Johnson then revealed he has lost more than a stone in weight since his coronavirus scare as he urged Brits to join him in getting fit this summer to ward off the worst of the disease.

The Prime Minister urged podgy Brits to shed the pounds, with studies showing that being overweight makes the illness far worse.

Mr Johnson spent a week in intensive care in May after coming down with coronavirus and is believed to have been shocked that his weight may have played a part in the seriousness of his condition.

Speaking on a visit to a London health centre today to encourage uptake of the winter flu jab the PM, who has been photographed running since his return to Downing Street, told reporters: 'I'm on the way, I've lost about a stone and a bit.

'Primarily by eating less, but also by a lot of exercise.'

He declined to give further details of his weight loss regimen.

Obesity has been flagged as a major risk factor for coronavirus, with researchers finding that obese people have a 37 per cent higher risk of dying from it. One in four Britons is obese.

Comment: And the UK government's messaging: "you should and will get vaccinated, one way or another, whoever you are - and soon" - continues to get rammed down the throats of the readers of this article...

The Prime Minister's comments on vaccination come after the Government yesterday announced its plans to double its winter flu vaccination programme to 30million people this year, with free jabs for all over-50s and children aged up to 11.

Last year, around 15million people received a jab against seasonal flu but ministers hope this will rise to 30million this winter.

Experts are concerned about the impact of a double-whammy of Covid-19 cases and seasonal flu potentially overwhelming the NHS.

There are also worries that people could suffer both seasonal flu and Covid-19 at the same time.

So the Department of Health and Social Care hopes that an increase in people getting flu vaccines means there will be fewer flu patients taking up space in hospitals and the NHS will have more time to deal with coronavirus patients.

The jab is usually offered to over-65s, nursery and primary school children, and pregnant women or people with health conditions such as asthma.

As part of an unprecedented drive, a free flu vaccine will this year also be available to:
  • People who are on the Shielded Patient List and members of their household;
  • All school year groups up to Year 7;
  • People aged over 65, pregnant women, those with pre-existing conditions including at-risk under 2s.
Once vaccination of the most 'at-risk' groups is well underway, the department will work with clinicians to decide when to open the programme to invite people aged 50-64, with further details to be announced.

The NHS will contact people directly, including information about where to go to get the vaccine.

At the moment, the free NHS flu programme is for people aged 65 and over, pregnant women, people with certain conditions such as kidney disease, asthma or heart disease and carers or those in care homes.

Frontline health and social care workers are also eligible to receive the flu vaccine.

The flu jab is also free for children over six months with a long-term health condition, those aged two and three and those in primary school.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: 'It's mission critical that we pull out all the stops to get ready for winter, and the Prime Minister has already announced £3 billion to protect the NHS.

'We are now taking another important step to help protect the wider public by giving the flu vaccination to more people than ever before. This will be the biggest flu vaccination programme in history, and will help protect our NHS as we head into winter.

'If you are eligible for a free vaccine, whether it's for the first time or because you usually receive one, then I would urge you to get it, not just to protect yourself, but to protect the NHS and your loved ones, from flu.'

Professor Martin Marshall, chair of the Royal College of GPs, said the expansion of the vaccination programme was 'sensible'.

He said: 'It is likely that Covid-19 will present challenges to delivering the flu programme - we will need to take measures to ensure all patients are safe when they come to get their vaccination, and we will need to ensure people, particularly in at risk groups, are confident in doing so.

'If a COVID-19 vaccination is available for use then this will also need to be factored in. The College has developed guidance for GP practices to support them to deliver mass vaccination programmes efficiently and safely, whilst COVID-19 remains a threat.'

This announcement comes alongside the £3 billion for the NHS announced by the Prime Minister earlier this month to relieve winter pressures on A&E and emergency care in case of a second spike in infections.

Chief Medical Officer, Professor Chris Whitty said: 'Flu can have serious consequences and vulnerable people can die of it. Having the vaccine protects you, and helps reduce transmission to others.

'This winter more than ever, with COVID-19 still circulating, we need to help reduce all avoidable risks. Vaccinating more people will help reduce flu transmission and stop people becoming ill.'

Dr Vanessa Saliba, Head of Flu at Public Health England said: 'The flu vaccine is the best defence we have against what can be a serious and even deadly illness.

'This winter, more people than ever will be offered a free flu vaccine. We are urging anyone who is eligible to take up the offer of vaccination. By getting the jab, you can help protect yourself, your family and the NHS - it will help save lives.'

Dr Nikki Kanani, GP and NHS medical director for primary care, said: 'Getting a free NHS flu vaccination is a quick and simple way that people can help to save lives and reduce pressure on our hardworking frontline staff this winter.

'GPs, nurses, community pharmacists and others will be going to great lengths this year to give this vital protection to millions more people in a safe and convenient way, so when the time comes I would urge everyone invited for a flu vaccination to get it as soon as possible.'

Not all GP surgeries will have enough fridge space to accept all the doses of the vaccine that they will need.

However, the aim is that all those eligible will have had their vaccine by Christmas.

The Government hopes NHS and social care workers will see it as their professional responsibility to get the flu jab, but have not ruled out making it mandatory in future years.

During the winter 2019/2020 flu season, 72.4 per cent of people aged 65 and over got their jab in England, as did 44.9 per cent of those in high-risk groups aged six months to 64.

Overall, 74.3 per cent of frontline health workers had their jab.

The uptake figure is known to be much lower for social care staff.