Tony Blair is asking on Boris Johnson to launch a serious publicity blitz to spice up COVID vaccine take-up charges and allay fears about side-effects.
The previous prime minister claims the federal government ought to do extra to promote the advantages of vaccines and publish information on how efficient and secure they’re.
Mr Blair’s name is available in a brand new report – Restoring Confidence within the Workhorse Covid-19 Vaccines, revealed by his Institute for International Change – which examines causes for rising vaccine hesitancy, significantly referring to AstraZeneca.
Unwanted effects reported by sufferers receiving the AstraZeneca jab have included blood clots, ache across the injection, fatigue, headache, nausea, joint ache and muscle ache.
However Mr Blair’s report concludes that considerations should addressed by clearer information on the advantages of the vaccine and the UK is in a novel place to offer it, as the one nation rolling out totally different vaccines in massive numbers.
“On this paper, we set out why the reluctance – significantly across the AstraZeneca vaccine – is totally flawed and unjustified,” Mr Blair writes within the foreword to the report.
“Why regulators in numerous international locations are taking choices primarily based on a slim and unbalanced view of danger, and why the policymakers in authorities have to grip this example urgently and convey some coherence and logic to the difficulty of vaccine evaluation.
“And do it globally. We mix this with a name for significantly better publication of the info on vaccine efficacy and security.
“The UK authorities has a selected curiosity on this as a result of AstraZeneca is a UK-developed vaccine and since it’s the vaccine most used within the UK.”
The publicity blitz proposal is the newest in a string of eye-catching insurance policies on COVID advocated by Mr Blair, who’s broadly thought of to have had a great pandemic.
Earlier this yr he known as for Britain to make use of its presidency of the G7 to comply with launch an “worldwide COVID cross” or vaccine passport, an thought now being thought of by the federal government.
Spelling out Mr Blair’s newest COVID proposal, an in depth ally of the previous Prime Minister informed Sky Information: “Knowledge, and the best way we current it, is a very powerful instrument now we have.
“With out it, we’re combating blind and after we select to not publish it, we’re creating vacuums the place misinformation, worry and confusion thrive.
“We want higher, clearer information that units out the well being outcomes for many who have the vaccine versus those that do not.
“This could possibly be within the type of uncooked numbers, up to date repeatedly, the place we see the variety of Covid circumstances, hospitalisations and deaths, damaged down by age, vaccine standing and vaccine kind.”
Mr Blair proposes publishing – as Israel has executed with the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine – the next data:
• The variety of folks vaccinated, then damaged down by first dose and second dose and by age group;
• After vaccination, how many individuals contracted COVID-19;
• What number of of these folks have been hospitalised;
• What number of of these folks died.
In his foreword, Mr Blair additionally writes: “The worldwide neighborhood has an curiosity on the earth getting vaccinated, and quick. In any other case, we danger mutations of a critical nature that require new vaccines.
“Subsequently we’re chasing after every new pressure, making an attempt to remove it earlier than the subsequent one arises.”
The previous prime minister discloses that within the subsequent few weeks his institute will publish a plan for the way the world could possibly be vaccinated by the tip of this yr.
He provides: “However there is no such thing as a risk of such a worldwide vaccination programme succeeding if vaccines such because the one developed by Oxford College/AstraZeneca are discredited primarily based on unjustified anxieties about security or efficacy.
“As a result of if that is true of AstraZeneca’s vaccine, it might equally apply to different adenovirus vaccines, similar to Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine.
“And the consequence can be that the world is disadvantaged wholly unnecessarily of the workhorse vaccines very important for world vaccination.”
Mr Blair continues: “I settle for utterly that the presentation of knowledge must be rigorously curated in order that it doesn’t mislead however precisely informs.
“Nonetheless, we’re in a scenario the place, in my judgement, solely the discharge of the whole information set for the UK vaccination programme will carry the worldwide credibility AstraZeneca wants.
“We are able to then additionally evaluate AstraZeneca and Pfizer to see the outcomes. The UK is in a novel place to do that as a result of it’s the solely nation that, at scale, has deployed each vaccines in comparable quantities.
“However this must be executed now.”