Kier Starmer calls for ‘national action plan’ to roll out coronavirus vaccine

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has called on the Prime Minister to publish a “comprehensive national action plan” for rolling out a coronavirus vaccine.

Sir Keir said the talents of British people should be harnessed to create a new national Covid-19 vaccine programme.

In a letter to the Prime Minister, Sir Keir states: “The challenge facing the country now is not just how we get control of the virus, but how we get ready for the vaccine.

“We are world leaders in vaccines, and I believe we should be aiming for a world class programme for rolling it out.

“However, this will be a mammoth logistical operation, probably larger than we have seen since the Second World War.

“If we are to get it right, then we must have a clear plan in place now.

“It should be a plan that harnesses all of the talents of the British people: our businesses, nurses, doctors, scientists and public servants.”

Sir Keir said that Labour was calling for a plan that sets out the criteria and targets that will be used to determine who is eligible for the vaccine and when.

Labour also wants a system that guarantees “equitable access to the vaccine no matter where you live”.

Sir Keir said the Government should “consider supporting councils and local NHS services to refurbish community assets, such as town halls or sport centres, into local vaccine clinics” as part of such an initiative.

The comments came ahead of a visit to Oxford vaccine labs on Monday by Sir Keir and shadow chancellor Anneliese Dodds.

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Health Secretary Matt Hancock has said that UK residents are likely to be among the first in the world to receive a coronavirus jab.

Drug giants Pfizer and the German biotech firm BioNTech have announced that interim findings show their vaccine can prevent more than 90% of people from getting Covid-19.

The UK has secured 40 million doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine.