Boris Johnson’s father Stanley defended over Covid vaccine criticism


Downing Street has defended the Prime Minister’s 80-year-old father for receiving two doses of Covid vaccine within three weeks – despite others having to wait 12 weeks between jabs.

Stanley Johnson sparked outrage when he revealed he was getting his second and final dose of the jab on Friday – despite only getting his first 21 days earlier on December 18.

But No. 10 defended the move, claiming Stanley was in the ‘first wave’ of recipients to receive both jabs before the rules changed.

To accelerate the rollout of the vaccine, the Government recently opted to extend the gap between the first and second jab to 12 weeks to allow it to be administered to a greater number of people.

During the pandemic he has often undermined his son, the Prime Minister, by not wearing a mask properly (pictured), travelling to his Greek holiday home and going against initial advice by declaring he would still visit the pub

Downing Street has defended the Prime Minister’s 80-year-old father Stanley Johnson (left) for receiving two doses of Covid vaccine within three weeks – despite others having to wait 12 weeks between jabs. During the pandemic he has often undermined his son, the Prime Minister, by not wearing a mask properly (pictured), travelling to his Greek holiday home and going against initial advice by declaring he would still visit the pub

Ministers have set a target of vaccinating the 14 million people in the top four priority groups – which includes the over-80s – by mid-February.  

Care home residents, vulnerable people and frontline health workers are also first in line for jabs of the Pfizer and Oxford vaccines. 

Boris Johnson’s press secretary Allegra Stratton today said: ‘This is a matter for the Prime Minister’s father.

‘It’s not something I’ve spoken to Stanley Johnson about but way of explanation in the early days of the vaccination programme it was the case that GPs were doing two jabs, a first one followed a few weeks later by a second one.

‘It appears that Stanley Johnson was one of those people who was in that first wave. 

‘It’s been true of a number of individuals around the country and Stanley Johnson appears to be one of them.’

Speaking on Good Morning Britain on Friday, Stanley revealed: ‘I had my first jab on December 18 and three weeks on is today and I’m very much looking forward to it. I don’t have to go far.’ 

Speaking on Good Morning Britain on Friday (pictured), Stanley revealed: 'I had my first jab on December 18 and three weeks on is today and I'm very much looking forward to it. I don't have to go far'

Speaking on Good Morning Britain on Friday (pictured), Stanley revealed: ‘I had my first jab on December 18 and three weeks on is today and I’m very much looking forward to it. I don’t have to go far’ 

He also queried if the vaccine would give him a ‘get out of jail free card’ to resume normal life – but this was quickly kiboshed by presenter Kate Garraway who said it would not. 

Stanley said: ‘I’m very reassured by the fact that we have got a grip of the vaccination programme… and as someone said – ‘give us the tools and we will finish the jab!’ I’m confident we’ll get there by Easter.’  

During the pandemic he has often undermined his son, the Prime Minister, by not wearing a mask properly, travelling to his Greek holiday home and going against initial advice by declaring he would still visit the pub.

He blamed his ‘prominent nose’ for a picture showing him without a mask covering his face while waiting for a train.

Grilled about his antics on Good Morning Britain, he said: ‘Sometimes the mask slips, by accident, I have a very prominent nose and sometimes it’s not very easy to keep it all covered.’ 

Prime Minister Boris Johnson (pictured today)  last week pledged to hit 200,000 doses a day by this Friday

Prime Minister Boris Johnson (pictured today)  last week pledged to hit 200,000 doses a day by this Friday

Garraway, whose husband Derek Draper remains struck down with coronavirus, branded him ‘naughty’ and put it to Stanley that his bullish tone has at times been at odds with the Boris Johnson’s more somber messaging.

Stanley insisted he will now behave ‘perfectly properly’.

Matt Hancock today revealed that 2.3million people in the UK have now had a Covid vaccine as the roll-out hits a rate of around 200,000 jabs per day.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson last week pledged to hit 200,000 doses a day by this Friday, meaning the target appears to have been hit early after the number of people to receive their first dose of the vaccine has almost doubled in a week, from 1.3m on Sunday, January 3, to 2.6m by today.

The sign that immunisations are scaling up as planned comes as welcome news alongside the fact that the number of people being diagnosed with coronavirus dropped today.

Department of Health officials announced another 46,169 people received positive test results yesterday, which was down 20 per cent in a week and the first sub-50,000 figure since December 28.

Ministers today released the plan behind Britain’s great Covid vaccine roll-out, promising to dish out 2million jabs a week by the end of January through 2,700 centres dotted across the country.

With a successful inoculation drive Number 10’s only hope of ever ending the constant cycle of tough lockdowns, officials have faced mounting pressure to come clean about how they intend to protect the UK from coronavirus.

Matt Hancock said the plan — which involves creating 50 mass-vaccination centres at football stadiums and other huge venues — ‘maps our route back to normality’. 

Under the plans, teachers and other key workers could be bumped up the priority queue. NHS England’s boss Sir Simon Stevens today claimed there was a ‘strong case’ to give them jabs once the first high priority groups, which includes all over 70s, adults with underlying conditions, NHS workers and care home staff, have had their jabs.

‘Roving’ vaccination teams, which are already being deployed to care homes, could be asked to go door-to-door in boroughs with low uptake rates. 

The document adds that by the end of January everyone in England will be within 10 miles of a vaccination site. And for those outside of this catchment, in highly rural areas, the vaccine will be brought to them via mobile teams.

So far the UK’s vaccination scheme has been plagued by supply and staffing shortages, logistical problems and bureaucratic barriers that have hampered its scale-up. 

No10 today also suggested they could set up a round-the-clock jab programme if the public wanted it — but that it had not yet happened because there was not the demand for it. However, vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi blamed a supply shortage for the absence of 24/7 jabs. 

Ministers said an army of over 80,000 trained health workers would be involved with the vaccine rollout and more than 200,000 community volunteers have said that they will help with non-clinical side of the programme.

During a visit to Bristol City Football Club’s Ashton Gate Stadium, which has been converted into a vaccine super-centre, the Prime Minister told reporters: ‘We cannot be complacent. The worst thing now would be for us to allow the success in rolling out a vaccine programme to breed any kind of complacency about the state of the pandemic.’  

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